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Full text of "Passing by"

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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




GIFT OF 



Passing by. 




.T 1924 013 582 329 




The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924013582329 



PASSING BY 

BY MAURICE BARING 



LONDON : MARTIN SECKER 



Goo3 

fi 11 T a 



7>. q S {'C^'i- 



LONDON : MARTIN MECKBB (LTD.) 1921 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Friday, December i&th, 1908. Gray's Inn. 

I went to the station this morning to 
see the Housmans off. They are leaving 
for Egypt and intend to stay there a 
month or perhaps two months. They are 
stopping* a few days at Paris on the way. 

Saturday, December i()th. 

My Christmas hoHdays begin. I am 
spending Christmas with Uncle Arthur 
and Aunt Ruth. I have to be back at 
the office on the first of January. 

Thursday, January \st, 1909. Gray's Inn. 

Received a post-card from Mrs Hous- 
man, from Cairo. 
Monday, February 2nd. 

Received a letter from Mrs Housman. 
They are returning to London. 
Sunday, February ?>th. 

The Housmans return to-morrow. They 
have been away one month and twenty- 
one days. 

7 



Passing B . 



Monday, February f)th. 

Went to meet the Housmans at the 
station. They are going straight into 
their new house at Campden Hill and 
are giving a house-warming dinner next 
Monday, to which I have been invited. 

Tuesday, February loth. 

Lord Ayton has been made Parliament- 
ary Under-Secretary. I do not know him 
but I remain in the office. He is taking 
me on. 

Monday, February i6th. Gray's Inn. 

The Housmans had their house-warming 
in their new house at Campden Hill. I 
was the first to arrive. 

On one of the walls in the drawing-room 
there is the large portrait of Mrs Housman 
by Walter Bell, which I had never seen 
since it was exhibited in the New Gallery 
ten years ago. It was always being lent 
for exhibitions when I went to the old 
house in Inverness Terrace. While I 
was looking at this picture Housman 



Passing By 



joined me and apologised for being late. 
He said the portrait of Mrs Housman 
was Bell's cJief-d'ceuvre. He liked it now. 
Then he said: "We are having some 
music to-night. Solway is dining with us 
and will play afterwards. He plays for 
nothing here, an old friend ; you know 
him ? Miss Singer is coming too. You 
know her? She writes. I don't read 
her." 

At that moment Mrs Housman came 
in and almost immediately Mr and Mrs 
Carrington-Smith were announced. Mr 
Carrington-Smith is Housman's partner, 
an expert in deep-breathing besides being 
rich. Mrs Carrington-Smith had lately 
arrived from Munich. The other guests 
were — Miss Housman (Housman's sister), 
Lady Jarvis, Miss Singer, whom I was 
to take in to dinner, a city friend of 
Mr Housman's, Mr James Randall, a little 
man with a silk waistcoat, and, the last to 
arrive, Solway. I sat on Mrs Housman's 
left, next to Miss Singer. Carrington- 
9 



Passing By 



Smith sat on Mrs Housman's right ; 
Housman sat at the head of the table, 
between Mrs Carrington-Smith and Lady 
Jarvis. Miss Singer talked to me earnestly 
at first. She is writing on the Italian 
Renaissance. I told her I was ignorant 
of the subject, upon which her earnestness 
subsided, and she smiled. Then we talked 
of music, where I felt more at home. 
She had been to all Solway's concerts. 
She is not a Wagnerite. Just as we 
were beginning to get on smoothly there 
was a shuffle in the conversation and 
Mrs Housman turned to me. 

I told her we had a new chief at the 
office — Lord Ayton. 

"We met him in Egypt," she said. 
"He had been big-game shooting. I had 
no idea he was an official." 

I told her he was only a Parliamentary 
Under-Secretary. At that moment there 
was a lull in the general conversation and 
Housman overheard us. 

"Ayton," he broke in. "A pleasant 

10 



Passing By 



fellow, not too much money, some fine 
things, furniture, at his place, but he won't 
go far, no grit." , 

I asked Mrs Housman what he was 
like. She saict they had made great 
friends at Cairo but she did not think 
they would ever meet again. 

"You know," she said, "these great 
friends one makes travelling, people, you 
know, who are just passing by " 

Miss Singer said he had an old house 
in Sussex. She had been over it. It 
was let ; there were some fine old things 
there. 

" But he won't sell," said Housman. 
" He's not a man of business." 

Mrs Carrington-Smith said she pre- 
ferred impressionist pictures, especially 
the Danish school. Housman laughed at 
her and said there was no money in them. 
Miss Housman said she had heard from 
a dealer that Lord Ayton had a remark- 
able set of Charles II. chairs and that she 
wished he would sell them. Solway took 
II 



Passing By 



no part in the conversation but discussed 
music with Miss Singer. I caught the 
phrase, "trombones as good as Baireuth." 
Mrs Housman asked me whether I had 
seen Ayton yet. I told her he had not 
been to the office. 

" I think you will like him," she said. 
Then, as an afterthought, " He's not a 
musician." 

She asked me whether there were any 
changes in the staff. I told her none 
except for the arrival of a new Private 
Secretary (unpaid) whom Lord Ayton is 
bringing with him, called Cunninghame. 
She had never heard of him. We stayed 
a long time in the dining-room. Housman 
was proud of his Madeira and annoyed 
with us for not drinking enough. Mr 
Randall said he was sorry but he never 
mixed his wines, and he had some more 
champagne. Randall, Carrington-Smith 
and Housman talked of the international 
situation. Solway explained to me why 
portions of the Ninth Symphony were 

12 



Passing B 1/ 



always played too fast. He was most 
illuminating. Then we went upstairs. 
More guests had arrived. A few people I 
knew, a great many I had not seen before. 
Solway played some Bach preludes and 
the Waldstein Sonata. The unmusical 
went downstairs. There were about a 
dozen people left in the drawing-room. 

Afterwards there were some refresh- 
ments downstairs. I got away about 
half-past twelve. 
Tuesday, jFedruary 17M. Gray's Inn. 

Our first day under the new regime. 
The new chief came to the office to-day. 
He looks young, and was friendly and 
unofficial. The new Private Secretary 
came too, Mr Guy Cunninghame, an 
affable young man. He wears a beauti- 
fully tied bow tie. I wonder how it is 
done and whether it takes a long time 
or not. He is well dressed, but when it 
comes to describing him he is dressed like 
anyone else, and yet he gives the im- 
pression of being well dressed. I don't 
13 



Passing By 



know why. I suppose it is an art like 
any other. I could not tie a tie like that 
to save my life. Equidem non invideo 
magis miror. 

He seems to have been everywhere, to 
have read everything and to know every- 
one. He is not condescending, he is just 
naturally agreeable. 

I had to go over to the Foreign Office 
in the morning to see someone in the 
Eastern Department. When I came back 
Cunninghame told me that a Mrs Hous- 
man had been to see Ayton, about some 
billet for her brother-in-law. She talked 
to him first. Cunninghame said he thought 
she did not like coming on such an errand. 
She then saw A., who said he would do 
what he could. He told C. afterwards 
he was sure he couldn't do anything for 
the fellow. C. had never met her nor 
heard of her, but curiously enough he said 
he recognised her from her picture which 
he had seen, Walter Bell's picture. I 
asked him if he had seen it at the New 
14 



Passing By 



Gallery. He said no, at a dealer's in 
America two years ago. 

I asked him if he was sure it was the 
same picture. He said he was quite sure. 
The picture was for sale. 

"One couldn't mistake the picture," he 
said. " It's the best thing Walter Bell 
ever did. His pictures are valuable now 
he is dead, but there was a slump in them 
before he died, or rather, there never 
was a boom in them. That one picture 
attracted a great deal of attention when 
it was first exhibited, and then one heard 
little of him till he died. Now, of course, 
his pictures fetch high prices." 



15 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to his 

cousin^ Mrs Caryl 

London, 
February iqth, igog. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Since my last letter I have 
been installed. I am George Ayton's 
Secretary. I sit in the office with another 
man, who was there before and has been 
taken on, called Mellon He is as silent 
as a deaf-mute and I have no doubt is the 
soul of discretion. There isn't much work 
to do and Ayton has got a real Secretary 
of his own who writes shorthand and type- 
writes without mistakes and lives in his 
house. He writes all his private letters 
and does all his business for him. He 
is not supposed to do official work, but 
George brings him to the office all the 
same, and he has a typewriter in the 
clerk's room and is always ready to do 
any odd job. I find him most useful. 
He is still more silent than Mellor. I 
i6 



Passing By 



haven't much to tell you. I have got 
into my new flat in Halkin Street. It 
will be presentable in time. The pictures 
are up, but not the curtains. Let us hope 
they won't be a failure; They were pro- 
mised last week but have not yet arrived. 
If you have time and are passing that way 
I wish you would get me from the Bon 
Marche half-a-dozen coloured tablecloths. 
George has got a flat in Stratton Street. 
I dined with him alone last night. We 
went to a Music Hall after dinner and 
heard Harry Lauder. His sister, Mrs 
Campion, is in Paris. Perhaps you will 
see her. Yesterday a lady came to the 
office to interview him and saw me first, 
a Mrs Housman. Have you ever heard 
of her? I recognised her at once as the 
subject of a picture by Walter Bell. Do 
you remember a large picture of a lady in 
white playing the piano ? Such a clever 
picture. I saw it in New York at Altheim's 
shop, but I believe it was exhibited years 
ago at the New Gallery. Well, she is far 
B 17 



Passing By 



more beautiful than the picture. She is 
not really tall, but she looks tall, with a 
wonderful walk, but I can't describe her, 
she makes other people look unreal — like 
wax-works. She was dressed anyhow 
and rather shabbily in black, wearing no 
gloves but the most beautiful ring I have 
ever seen, a kind of double monogram, 
probably old French. She came on 
business. I wonder who she is. She 
is not a foreigner and not, I think, an 
American, but she is, looks and talks, 
especially talks, not like an English- 
woman. 

I shall try to come to Paris for Easter. 

Don't forget the tablecloths. 
Yours, 

GtlY. 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, March \st. 

I dined last night with the Housmans. 
They were alone except for Solway, and 
after dinner we had some music. Solway 
played the Schumann Variations and then 
he asked Mrs Housman to sing. I hadn't 
heard her for a long time as she hardly 
ever will sing now. She sang Willst du 
dein Herz mir schenken. Solway says 
the song isn't by Bach really but by his 
nephew. Then she sang a song from 
Purcell's Dido, some Schubert ; among 
others, Wer nie sein Brot, and the 
Junge Nonne. Solway said he had 
never heard the last better sung. Hous- 
man then asked her to sing a song 
from The Merry Widow, which she 
did. 

Housman plays himself by ear. 

She did not allude to having been at 
the office, nor did I. 

19 



Passing By 



Tuesday, March 2nd. 

Dined with Cunninghame at his flat 
last night. A comfortable and luxurious 
abode. I asked him if Ayton was likely 
to marry. He laughed. He said he had 
been in love for years, with a Mrs 
Shamier. I had never heard of her. 
Cunninghame said she was clever and 
accomplished, and had been very pretty 
and painted by all the painters. 

He says A. will never marry. I asked 
him if Mrs Shamier was in London. He 
said of course. She has a husband who 
is in Parliament, and several children ; a 
country house on the south coast ; but 
they are not particularly well off. 

"You must come and meet her at 
dinner," he said. " I am devoted to 
her." 

I asked him if she was fond of A. 

" Not so much now, but she won't let 
him go." 

I went away early as C. was going to a 
party. 

20 



Passing By 



Wednesday, March ^rd. 

Went to the British Museum before 
going to the office, to look up an old 
English tune for Mrs Housman from 
Ford's Music of Sundry Kinds called The 
Doleful Lover. I found it. 

Thursday, March ^th. 

Went to Solway's Chamber Music 
Concert last night. 

Brahms Quintet and a trio by Solway 
himself. Some Brahms Lieder. The 
Housmans were there. I thought Solway's 
trio fine. 

Friday, March ^th. 

A. went to the country this afternoon 
to stay with the Shamiers ; so C. said, but, 
as a matter of fact, he told me he was 
going to his own house. Cunninghame 
is going away himself to-morrow. He 
always goes away on Saturdays, he says. 
I remain in London. 
Saturday, March 6th. 

Went to the London Library and got 
some books for Sunday : Thais, by Anatole 

21 



Passing By 



France, recommended to me by C. ; a 
book called A Human Document, recom- 
mended me by Mrs Housman. I do 
not think I shall read any of them. The 
only literature I read without difficulty is 
The Times and Jane Eyre, and The Times 
doesn't come out on Sunday. 

Sunday Night, March "jth. 

Called on the Housmans in the after- 
noon. She was out. Luncheon at the 
Club. Dinner at the Club. I began A 
Human Document, but could not read 
more than five pages of it. I couldn't 
read any of the book by Anatole France. 

Went to a concert in the afternoon. It 
was not enjoyable. 

Read Jane Eyre. 



22 



Letter from Guy Cunn'mghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, March 8M. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I meant to write you a 
long letter yesterday from the country. 
I went to stay with the Shamiers. I 
thought, of course, George would be 
there. He didn't come near the office on 
Friday. He wasn't there and evidently 
wasn't even expected. 

Louise in tearing spirits and a new man 
there called Lavroff, a Russian philosopher ; 
youngish and talking English better than 
any of us, except that he always said 
" I have been seeing So-and-so to-day," 
"I have been to the concert yesterday." 

Needless to say, I didn't have a 
moment to write to you, in fact the only 
place where I get time to write you a line 
is at the office. Everything is appallingly 
dull. Mellor, the Secretary, had dinner 
23 



Passing By 



with me one night. He spoke a Httle 
but not much. I think he is shy but not 
stupid. 

George likes being in London, but 
Louise didn't mention him.. It's curious 
if after all this fuss and trouble to get this 
job and to be in London it all comes to 
an end. 

The tablecloths have arrived. Thank 
you a thousand times. They are exactly 
what I wanted. The curtains have 
arrived too but they are a failure ; too 
bright. I can't afford to get new ones 
yet. This week I have got some dinners. 
George said something about giving a 
dinner this week. 

Yours in great haste, 

G. 



24 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, March itk. 

A. asked me whether if I was free on 
Thursday I would dine with him. I said 
I would be pleased to. He said he would 
try and get a few people. 
Tuesday, March ()th. 

A. has got a Secretary called Tuke. 
He writes all his private letters and he 
comes down to the office in the mornings. 
This morning he came and asked me Mrs 
Housman's address. It is curious that he 
should have applied to me and not to C, 
as I was not here when she called, nor 
does A. know that I know her. How 
can he have known that I know her ? 

Wednesday, March \oth. 

Dined with Cunninghame last night at 
his fiat. The guests were Mr and Mrs 
Shamier, Miss Macdonald, C.'s cousin, M. 
Lavroff, a Russian, and a Miss Hope. I sat 
between the Russian and Miss Macdonald. 
Miss Macdonald is an elderly lady, kind 
25 



Passing By 



and agreeable. Mr Shamier, M.P., was 
once, I believe, an athlete, a cricket Blue. 
Miss Hope looked as if she were in fancy 
dress ; Lavroff, the Russian, is unkempt, 
with thick eyebrows and dark eyes. 
Tolstoy was mentioned at dinner. Mrs 
Shamier said he was her favourite novelist, 
upon which Lavroff became greatly excited 
and said the day would come when, the 
world would perceive and be ashamed 
of itself for perceiving that Tolstoy was 
not worthy to lick Dostoyevsky's boots. 
Being asked my opinion I was obliged 
to confess that I had read the works of 
neither novelist. Miss Macdonald asked 
me who was my favourite novelist. I 
said Charlotte Bronte. She said she 
shared my preference and couldn't read 
Russian books, they depressed her. After 
dinner we had some music. Miss Hope 
sang and accompanied herself. She sang 
songs by Faure and Hahn ; among others 
La Prison. She altered the text of the 
last line, and instead of singing " Qu'as tu 
26 



Passing By 



fait de ta jeunesse ? " she rendered it — 
" Qu'as tu fait dans ta jeunesse ? " : scarcely 
an improvement. When she had finished 
Lavroff was asked to play. He consented 
immediately and played some folk songs. 
Athough he is in no sense a pianist, they 
were beautifully played. 
Thursday, March wth. 

Had dinner last night with Admiral 
Bowes in Hyde Park Gardens. The only 
people there besides myself were Colonel 
Hamley and Grayson, who is, they say, a 
rising M. P. The Admiral said his nephew, 
Bowes in the F.O. (whom I know a little), 
had become a Roman Catholic. 

"What on earth made him do that?" 
said Colonel Hamley. 

" Got hold of by the priests," said the 
Admiral ; and they all echoed the phrase : 
" Got hold of by the priests" and passed 
on to other topics. 

I have often wondered what the process 
of being "got hold of by the priests" 
consists of, and where and how it happens. 
27 



Passing By 



Friday, March 12 th. 

Dined last night with A. at his flat. 
I was surprised to meet Mr and Mrs 
Housman. The hostess was A.'s sister, 
Mrs Campion. She is a deal older than 
he is, a widow and good company. There 
was also a Mrs Braham, and a younger 
man called Clive. He is in a bank and 
is, I believe, a useful man in a sailing boat. 

I sat between Mrs Campion and Mrs 
Housman. 

After dinner A. said to Mrs Housman 
that, knowing she liked music, he had 
provided her with a musical treat. Mrs 
Braham would sing to us. She sang, 
accompanying herself, The Garden of 
Sleep, The Silver Ring, MMsande in 
the Wood, and, by special request. The 
Little Grey Home in the West. There was 
no other music. 

Saturday, March i^th. 

Had tea with the Housmans. They 
asked me to dinner next Tuesday to meet 
A. Mrs Housman says that Mrs Campion 
28 



Pass ing B y 



is one of the rnqst charming and amusing 
people she has ever met. C. is staying in 
London. This Saturday A. is going to 
his house in the country. He has a small 
house on the coast near Littlehampton, 
where he keeps his yacht, but, of course, 
he cannot yacht yet. He has a large 
house in Sussex which is let. 

Sunday Night, March \\th. 

Went down to Woking to spend the 
day with Solway in his cottage. He is 
composing a Sonata for piano and violin. 
He played me the first movement. He 
said he thought there was a certain amount 
of good music being composed at the 
present day which nobody was taking 
notice of, but which would probably come 
into its own some day. He said Mrs 
Housman was the singer who gave him 
the most pleasure. He said : " Her 
singing is business-like. She is divinely 
musical." 



29 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Sunday, March i^tk. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have been spending a 
perfect Saturday to Monday in London. 
I have had a busy week and was glad to 
see no one and do nothing all to-day, 
that is to say, comparatively no one 
and nothing, as I went to the play on 
Saturday night, and to-day I went to a 
large luncheon party at Alice's, who is 
back at Bruton Street. The news is 
that the Shamier episode is over, quite, 
quite over. There is no doubt about it. 
She is madly in love with Lavroff. I 
don't wonder. He is so intelligent and 
plays wonderfully. As for George, I don't 
think he cares. You will at once ask if 
there is no one else. Nobody that I know 
of I don't know who he sees and what 
he does. He hates going out, and talks 
every day of giving a dinner at his flat, 
30 



Passing By 



but as far as I know he hasn't entertained 
a cat yet. 

I dined out every night last week, and 
gave one dinner at my flat. I think it was a 
success. Freda Macdonald, Louise, Lavroff 
and Eileen Hope, who sang quite beauti- 
fully. I asked Godfrey Mellor, but I really 
don't know if I can ask him again to that 
sort of party as he didn't utter a word. 
Freda liked him. But it does ruin a 
dinner to have a gulf of silence in the 
middle of it, especially as when he does 
talk he can be quite agreeable. George 
has gone down to the country. His sister 
is here now, but she goes north next week. 
I believe London bores him to death and 
he is longing for the summer and for his 
yacht, I am sorry you can tell me nothing 
of Mrs Housman. I haven't seen or heard 
anything more of her. 

Thank you very much for the langues 
de chat. They added to the success of 
my dinner. Yours, etc., 

Guy. 
31 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, March idth. 

I asked C. where he got his cigarettes. 
He said he got them from a little man 
who lived behind the Haymarket. Every- 
body seems to get their cigarettes and 
their shirts from a "little man." The 
little man apparently never lives in a 
street but always behind a street. 

My new piano, a Cottage Broadwood, 
arrived to-day. It is bought on the three 
years' system. 

Tuesday, March T^th. 

Dined with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle 
Arthur last night, in Eccleston Square. 
A large dinner-party : a Permanent Under- 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the French 
Charge d'Affaires and his wife, the 
Editor of The Whig and his wife. Lord 
and Lady Saint-Edith, Professor Miles, 
Sir Herbert Wilmott and Lady Wilmott^ 
Mr Julius K. Lee of the American 
32 



Pass ing By 



Embassy, and Mrs Lovell-Smythies, the 
novelist. 

As we were all waiting for dinner in the 
dark library downstairs a Miss Magdalen 
Cross came in late, carrying a book in her 
hand. " This book," she said to us all, " is 
well worth reading." It was a German 
novel by Sudermann. An old lady who 
was standing next to her, and who I 
afterwards discovered was the widow of 
the Bishop of Exminster, said: "You 
prepared that entry in your cab, dear 
Magdalen." Miss Cross blushed. I 
took her in to dinner. She talked of 
sculpture, the Chinese nation, German 
novels, and Russian music. She has 
been three times round the world. She 
has no liking for most German music and 
cannot abide Brahms. She likes Wagner, 
Chopin, Russian Church music and Spanish 
songs. On the other side I had the wife 
of the French Charg^ d'Affaires. She 
said : " J 'adore I'odeur des paquets anglais." 
Her favourite English author, she said, 
c 33 



Passing By 



was Mrs Humphry Wood. I did not like 
to ask her if she meant Mrs Humphry 
Ward or Mrs Henry Wood. She said 
the works of this novelist made her weep. 

When we were left in the dining-room 
after dinner, L'ord Saint-Edith, Professor 
Miles and Hallam (of The Whig) had a 
long argument about some lines in Dante, 
and this led them to the Baconian theory. 
Lord Saint- Edith said he couldn't under- 
stand people thinking Bacon had written 
Shakespeare's plays. If they said Shake- 
speare had written the works of Bacon 
as a pastime he could understand it. He 
believed Homer was written by Homer. 
The Professor was paradoxical and said 
he thought the Odyssey was a forgery. 
"Tacitus," he said, "was known to be 
one. 

After dinner upstairs there was tea but 
no music. Uncle Arthur is growing very 
deaf and forgetful and asked me how I 
was getting on at Balliol. 

Aunt Ruth told me she had asked my 
34 



Passing By 



new chief to dinner, but that he had 
refused. "Of course," she said, "this is 
not the kind of house he would find amus- 
ing. But considering how well I knew 
his father I think it would be only civil 
for him to come to one of my Thursday 
evenings." 
Wednesday, March 11 th. 

I dined at the Housmans' last night. 
It was a dinner for A. He was the guest 
of the evening. To meet him there were 
Lady Maria Lyneham, who must be over 
seventy ; a French lady of imposing 
presence called, if I caught the name 
correctly, the Princesse de Carignan and 
who, Housman whispered to me, was a 
Bourbon, and if she had her rights would 
be Queen of France to-day ; a secretary 
from the Italian Embassy; Mr and Mrs 
Baines. Mr Baines is an official at the 
British Museum and is half French. His 
wife, he told me, had once been taken for 
Sarah Bernhardt. There were several 
other people : Sir Herbert Simcox, the 
35 



Passing By 



K.C., and Lady Simcox, an art critic, a 
lady journalist and Miss Housman. 

A. sat between Mrs Housman and Lady 
Simcox. Housman had the Princesse de 
Carignan on his right and Lady Maria 
on his left. I sat between Lady Maria 
and Miss Housman. Lady Maria told 
me she dined out whenever she could, 
and asked me to luncheon on Sunday. 
"Don't come," she said, "if you mind 
meeting lions ; I like pleasant people. 
Only I warn you I have an old-fashioned 
prejudice for good manners and I always 
ask their wives." 

Mr Baines talked beautiful French to 
the Princesse. Lady Maria told me she 
was neither French nor a princess, but the 
illegitimate daughter of a Levantine. 
"But very respectable all the same, I'm 
afraid," she added. 

After dinner a few people came. Among 

others, Housman's partner and Esther 

Lake, the contralto. She sang (she 

brought her own accompanist) some 

36 



Passing By 



Handel and Che faro and, by request of 
Mr Housman, Gounod's There is a Green 
Hill. 

I drove home with A. He told me he 
had enjoyfed himself immensely and he 
thought Esther Lake was the finest singer 
in the world. 

He said Miss Housman was a very 
clever woman and Housman appeared to 
be quite a good sort. 

He said he liked this kind of dinner- 
party. 

Thursday, March i&(A. 

The first day there has been a feeling 
of spring in the air. I went to St James's 
Park on the way to the office. 

Dined at the Club. 

Friday, March igtk. 

A. asked me to spend Sunday with him 
in the country. I told him I was sorry I 
was engaged to go out to luncheon on 
Sunday. He said I must come the week 
after. 

57 



Passing By 



Saturday, March loth. 

C. said it was a great pity A. did not 
go out more. He used to go out a great 
deal, he said. " I suppose," he added, 
"it's because he doesn't wast to meet 
Mrs Shamier." I said I thought C. had 
told me he was fond of her. "Yes," 
said C, "he was very fond of her, but 
that is all over now." 

Sunday Evening, March 2 \st. 

I went to St Paul's Cathedral in the 
morning. Then to luncheon with Lady 
Maria in her house in Seymour Place. 

A curious luncheon. There were two 
actors and their wives. Father Seton, and 
Mr Le Roy, who writes detective stories, 
and his wife, and Sir James Croker. 

I sat next to Mrs Le Roy, who is, she 
told me, a Greek. She told me her 
husband had written one hundred and ten 
books, but that she had read none of them. 
She said it worried him if she read them. 
She said it was a great sacrifice as she 
38 



Passing By 



doted on detective stories and was told 
his were very good. The actors, who 
were both actor managers, told us about 
their forthcoming productions. Mr Vane 
said there was going to be a real panther 
in his next production (a Shakespearean 
revival). Mr Jones Acre is producing a 
play which is translated from the Swedish, 
and which deals with the question of a 
man who has inoculated himself and his 
whole family with a fatal disease, in the 
interests of science. 

Father Seton took a great interest in 
the stage, and said he considered the 
Church and the stage should be close 
allies. The clergy took far too little 
interest in these things. It was a pity, 
he said, to let the Romans have the 
monopoly of that kind of thing. This 
surprised Mrs Le Roy, who said she 
thought he was a Roman Catholic. He 
laughed and said Rome would have to 
capitulate on many points before any idea 
of corporate reunion could be entertained. 
39 



Pass in g B \ 



Sir James Croker told stories of early 
days in the Foreign Office and Lord 
Palmerston. 

We sat on talking until half-past three. 
I then went home and read Jane Eyre. 



40 



Letter from Guy Gunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Halkin Street, 
March i$th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I start on Thursday and 
shall arrive Thursday evening. I have 
got rooms at the Ritz. Let us have 
dinner together Thursday night, and not 
go to a play. I shall stay in Paris a week 
and then go for four days to Mentone, 
Then I shall come back to Paris for three 
days, and then home. I suppose we shall 
have to dine at the Embassy one night. 
George is going to the country for Easter 
with his sister. I want a really nice screen 
(a small one). You must help me to find 
one, not too dear. I also want something 
for the dining-room, which at present is 
too bare. 

I won't write any more now. 
Yours, 

G. 

41 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Sunday, March 2^tk. Hotel St Romain, Rue St 
Roch, Paris 

Went to a concert at the Cirque d'EU 
this afternoon, not a very interesting 
programme. A great deal of Wagner, 
and L ' Apres-midi cCttn Faune. 

Dined by myself at a Duval. Start for 
Florence to-morrow morning. 

Tuesday, March ^oih. Villa Fersen, Florence 

Arrived this morningf before luncheon 
after an exhausting journey second-class. 
In the carriage there was a soldier belong- 
ing to the Garde RJpublicaine. He said 
he was on duty at the Opera and had he 
known I was passing through Paris he 
could have given me a billet de faveiir. 

The Housmans' villa is at the top of 
a hill on the Bellosguardo side. It is 
rather a large house, covered with wistaria, 
with high windows with iron bars. It has 
a large empty salon with a piano. A 
42 



Passing By 



fine room for sound. The garden is 
beautiful. 

fVednesday, March 31s f. 

I walked down into Florence very early 
in the morning. I reached the town 
before anything was open and met a party 
of men in shorts and flannels running 
back to a hotel. They were Eton masters 
taking exercise. I didn't go to any picture 
galleries, but I walked about the streets 
and went into the Duomo, an ugly build- 
ing inside. I got back for luncheon. 

Housman said that they must leave 
cards in the afternoon and take a drive in 
the Cascine. They went out in a carriage 
and pair. I went for a walk to the Boboli 
Gardens. At dinner Housman said they 
had met several friends, and he is giving 
a dinner-party on Sunday. 

Thursday, April ist. 

The Housmans took me to luncheon with 

a banker called Baron Strong. What the 

explanation of this title is I do not know. 

They live in the modern part of the town. 

43 



Pa s sing By 



He was a genial host, portly, with long 
white whiskers. His wife, the Baroness, 
an Italian, a distinguished lady. There 
were present a Marchese whose real name 
I was told was Goldschmidt, and his wife, 
a retired and talkative English diplomatist, 
a Russian lady, an Italian, who talked 
English, French and Russian with ease, 
called Scalchi, Professor Johnston- Wright, 
who is spending his holiday here, and 
a Frenchman. When the latter heard 
Scalchi talk every language successively 
he said to him: " Vous etes une petite 
tour de Babel." 

In the afternoon we left cards at several 
houses and villas and then went for a drive 
in the Cascine. Some people called at 
tea-time, but I escaped. After dinner 
Mrs Housman sang some Schumann, 
FrUhlingsnacht, and the Dichterliebe. 
These songs, she said, suit Florence. 
Friday, April '2nd. 

I had a talk with the Italian gardener 
as far as my Italian permitted me to. I 
44 



Pass ing By 



pointed out a plant, a mauve-coloured 
plant, I don't know its name, that seemed 
to grow in great profusion. He said : 
" Fiorisce come il pensiere dell' uomo." 
More calls in the afternoon, and another 
drive in the Cascine. 

Housman has bought a large modern 
statue representing The Triumph of Truth, 
a female figure carrying a torch, with a 
serpent at her feet. She is triumphing, 
I suppose, over the snake. 

Saturday, April ^rd. 

We went to see the Easter Saturday 
ceremony at the Duomo, and then to 
luncheon at the Villa Michael Angelo. It 
belongs to a rich American called Fisk. 
There were present besides Mr and Mrs 
Fisk an English authoress, a picture 
connoisseur, Scalchi, an American archae- 
ologist, an Italian man of letters, and a 
Miss Sinclair, also an archaeologist. 
Housman said afterwards this was the 
cream of intellectual Florence. 
45 



Pass ing By 



I sat between two archaeologists. I 
found their conversation difficult to follow. 

After luncheon we called on the British 
Consul's wife, whose day it was. Then 
after a drive in the Cascine we went home. 

Easter Sunday, April \th. 

Mrs Housman went to Mass early. 
Went for a walk with Housman. On the 
Ponte Vecchio we met Ayton and his sister, 
Mrs Campion. Mrs Campion, he said, had 
insisted on him taking her to Florence. 

Housman asked them to dinner to-night ; 
they accepted. A great many people 
came to tea. 

The dinner-party to-night was quite 
a large one. Baron and Baroness Strong, 
Lord Ayton, Mrs Campion, Mr and Mrs 
Fisk, Scalchi and the Marchese and his 
wife, whom we met lately. I sat between 
Mrs Campion and Baron Strong. After 
dinner Mrs Fisk played Chopin with 
astonishing facility, but without any ex- 
pression. 

46 



Passing By 



A. intends to stay here another fortnight. 

Housman said he received a telegram 
which will necessitate his meeting his 
partner at Genoa. His partner is on the 
way to the Riviera. He may have to go 
to Paris too, but he hopes not, and intends 
to be back in a few days if possible. 

Monday, April ^th. 

Housman left to-day for Genoa. I 
went with Mrs Housman to San Marco 
and the Accademia in the morning. In 
the afternoon to the Certosa with Mrs 
Housman, A. and Mrs Campion. 

Tuesday, April 6th. 

Mrs Campion and A. came to luncheon. 
Mrs Campion, who is an expert gardener, 
told me the names of all the flowers in the 
garden. They have not remained in my 
mind. 

Wednesday, April 1th. 

We all spent a morning sight-seeing 
and had luncheon at a restaurant. In the 
afternoon we drove to Fiesole. 

47 



Passing By 



Thursday, April ^th. 

Housman is not coming back. He is 
obliged to go to Paris and he will go 
straight to London from there. 

We drove to Fiesole in the morning. 
Had luncheon with some Italian friends 
of Mrs Campion, Count and Countess 
Alberti. Nobody there except the host 
and hostess and their three children. A 
fine villa and no garden. Countess 
Alberti said it was no use having a 
garden if one lived here in summer, as 
everything dried up. She is a charming 
woman, natural and unpretentious, and 
talks English like an Englishwoman. 

She asked A. if he had met many 
people, and A. said he was a tourist and 
had no time for visits. Countess Alberti 
said he was quite right and that she knew 
nothing in the world more — seccante was 
the word she used, than Florentine 
society. 

She asked us all to come agfain next 
week. I am leaving on Sunday, and A. 
48 



Passing By 



and Mrs Campion are going to Paris on 
Monday. Mrs Housman remains here 
another week. 

Friday, April gth. 

Mrs Housman hadaheadacheanddidnot 
come down. I went to the town and did 
some shopping and went over the Bargello. 
Mrs Housman came down to dinner and 
sang afterwards, Schubert, Schumann and 
Brahms. I had never heard her sing 
Versenk o versenk dein Leid mein 
Kind, in die See before. 

Saturday, April loth. 

We went to a great many churches in 
the morning and saw a number of frescoes. 
Mrs Housman received a great many 
invitations, but refused them all. A. 
and Mrs Campion and the Albertis 
came to dinner. Countess Alberti per- 
suaded Mrs Housman to sing. She sang 
some English songs : Passing By, Lord 
Randall, etc., Gounod's Chanson de 
Mai, and some Lully. Countess Alberti 
D 49 



Pass ing B y 



said it was a comfort to hear singing of 
which you could hear every word. A. 
Hked Passing By best, and he made her 
sing it twice. He asked me who the 
words were by. The tune is Edward 
Purcell's. The words, although generally 
attributed to Herrick by musical pub- 
lishers, are by an anonymous poet, and 
occur in Thomas Ford's Music of Sundry 
Kinds, 1607. They are as follows : — 

There is a ladye sweet and kind, 
Was never face so pleas'd my mind, 
I did but see her passing by, 
And yet I love her till I die. 

Her gestures, motions, and her smile, 
Her wit, her voice my heart beguile, 
Beguile my heart, I know not why ; 
And yet I love her till I die. 

There is also a third stanza. 



50 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Villa Beau Site, 

Mentone, 
Thursday, April iih. 

Dearest Elsie, 

It is divine here and this 
villa is a dream. We went to Monte 
Carlo yesterday and I won 300 francs 
and then lost it again. I saw hundreds 
of people, monde and demi-monde. Among 
the latter Celia Russell, having luncheon 
with rather a gross-looking shiny financier. 
I asked who he was and found out that 
he was Housman of Housman & Smith. 
Apparently C. R. has been living with 
him for some time, ever since, in fact, 
L. went to India. But the interesting 
thing to me is that Housman is the 
husband of that beautiful Mrs Housman 
I told you about. M. knows them and 
knows all about them. Mrs Housman 
was a Canadian, very poor, with no one 
51 



Passing By 



to look after her but an old aunt. He 
married her about ten years ago. Since 
then he has become very rich. Carrington- 
Smith is now his partner. Housman 
supplies the brains. They live some- 
where in the suburbs and she never 
goes anywhere. 

I am not coming back till next Monday. 
I shall be able to stop two or three days 
in Paris, very likely longer. 
Yours, 

G. 

Halkin Street, 

Sunday, May gth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have had a busy week 
since I have been back. Monday I dined 
with George at his flat. A man's dinner 
to meet some French politicians who are 
over here for a few days. I told you I 
was determined to make Mrs Housman's 
acquaintance, and I have. I had luncheon 
on Tuesday with Jimmy Randall, a city 
52 



Passing By 



friend of mine. You don't know him. 
■ He knows the Housmans intimately. I 
told him I wanted to know them and 
he asked me to meet them last night. 

We dined at the Carlton, Randall, the 
Housmans and myself I think she is 
even more beautiful than I thought before. 
I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was 
in black, with one row of very good pearls. 
I never saw such eyes. Housman is too 
awful ; sleek, fat and common beyond 
words, but sharp as a needle. He has an 
extraordinary laugh, a high, nasal chuckle, 
and says, " Ha ! ha ! ha ! " after every 
sentence. They have asked me to dinner 
next Tuesday. I will write to you about it 
in detail. Mrs H. is charming. There is 
nothing American or Colonial about her, 
but she is curiously un-English. I can't 
understand how she can have married 
him. I caught sight of her again this 
morning at the Oratory, where I always 
go if I am in London on Sundays, for the 
music. Randall told me she is very 
53 



Passing By 



musical, but I didn't get any speech with 
her. 

The flat looks quite transformed with 
all the Paris things. They are the 
greatest success. 

Yours, 

G. 

Wednesday, May 12 th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

The dinner-party came 
off last night. They live in Campden Hill. 
I was early and the parlour-maid said 
Mrs Housman would be down directly, 
and I heard Housman shouting upstairs : 
"Clare, Clare, guests," but he did not 
appear himself I was shown into a large 
white and heavily gilded drawing-room, 
with a candelabra, a Steinway grand, and 
light blue satin and ebony furniture, a 
good many palms, but no flowers. The 
drawing-room opened out on to an Oriental 
back drawing-room with low divans, small 
stools inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and a 
54 



Passing By 



silver lamp (from a mosque) hanging 
from the ceiling, heavy curtains too, 
behind which I suspect stained - glass 
windows. Over the chimney-piece an 
Alma Tadema (a group on a marble seat 
against a violet sea). At the other end 
of the room Walter Bell's picture. It was 
the picture I saw before, but more about 
that later. On another wall over a sofa 
a most extraordinary allegorical picture : 
a precipice bridged by a large serpent, and 
walking on the serpent two small figures, 
a woman in white draperies and a knight 
dressed like Mephistopheles, all these 
painted in the crudest colours. The 
Housmans then appeared, and Housman 
did the honours of the pictures, faintly 
damned the Alma Tadema, and said the 
Snake Picture was by Mucius of Munich 
in what he called Moderne style. He had 
picked it up for nothing ; some day it 
would be worth pots of money. Ha ! ha ! 
Then the guests arrived. Sir Herbert 
Simcox, K.C., Lady Simcox, dressed in 
55 



Passing By 



amber velvet and cairngorms ; Housman's 
sister Miss Sarah, black, and very large, 
in yellow satin, with enormous emerald 
ear-rings ; Carrington-Smith, Housman's 
partner ; Mrs Carrington-Smith, naked 
except for a kind of orange and red 
Reform Kleid, with a green complexion, 
heavily blacked eyebrows, and a Lalique 
necklace. Then, making a late entrance, 
as if on the stage, a Princesse de Carignan, 
a fine figure, in rich and tight black satin 
and a large black ruff, heavily powdered. 
Housman whispered to me that she was 
a leeitimate Bourbon. I think he meant 
a Legitimist. We went down to dinner 
into a dark Gothic panelled dining-room, 
with a shiny portrait of Mr Housman set 
in the panelling over the chimney-piece. 

I sat between Mrs Housman and Mrs 
Carrington-Smith. I talked to Mrs Hous- 
man most of the time. Mrs Carrington- 
Smith asked me if I liked Henry James's 
books, I said I liked the early ones. 
She said she preferred the later ones, but 
56 



Passing By 



she could never feel quite the same about 
Henry James again since he had put her 
into a book. She was, she said, Kate in 
The Wings of the Dove. After dinner 
Housman moved up and sat next to me. 
He talked about art and hric-h-brac. I 
asked him if I could possibly have seen 
Bell's portrait of Mrs Housman in America. 
He said, "Certainly." He had bought it 
cheap and sold it dear, anticipating a slump 
in Bell, which was not slow in coming. 
He had then bought it back directly Bell 
died, anticipating a boom, which had also 
occurred. " It is now worth double what 
I gave for it. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

Randall said he liked a picture to tell 
a plain story and he could make nothing 
of the Snake Picture upstairs. Housman 
laughed loudly and said it was the oldest 
story in the world : the man, the woman, 
and the serpent. Ha! ha! We went 
upstairs, where there was a crowd. I was 
seized upon by the Princesse de Carignan, 
and she whispered to me confidential 
57 



Pass ing By 



secrets about Europe. She preened her- 
self and displayed the deportment of a 
queen in exile. 

Then we had some music. Esther Lake 
bawled some Rubinstein, and Ronald 
Solway played an interminable sonata by 
Haydn with variations and all the repeats. 
Some of the guests went downstairs, but 
I was wedged in between the Princesse 
and a Mrs Baines, a fluffy, sinuous woman, 
dressed in a loose Byzantine robe. Her 
husband, who is an expert in French furni- 
ture, told me she was once mistaken for 
Sarah, and she has evidently been living up 
to the reputation for years. He was careful 
to add that it was in the days when Sarah 
was thin — Mrs Baines being a wisp. 

After the music, which I thought would 
never stop, we went downstairs again for 
a stand-up supper and sweet champagne. 
I was introduced by Housman to Ronald 
Solway. Housman told him I was a 
musical connoisseur, so he bored me 
with technicalities for twenty minutes. I 
58 



Pass ing By 



couldn't get away. He had no mercy 
on me. Housman has got a box at the 
Opera. He told me I must use it when- 
ever I like. How can she have married 
that man ? 

Yours, 

G. 

l¥ednesday. May 19M. 
Dearest Elsie, 

Thank you for your most 
amusing letter. I have been busy and 
not had a moment to write. We have 
had a good deal of work to do. Last 
Friday I had supper at Romano's after the 
play. Housman was there with Celia 
Russell. I spent Saturday to Monday 
with the Shamiers. Lavroff was there. 
Last night I went to the Opera to the 
Housmans' box. It was Boheme. During 
the entr'acte who should come into our 
box but George. He stayed there the 
whole time, talking to Mrs H., and came 
back during the next entr'acte. 
59 



Passing By 



The next day at the office when I was 
in his room I said something about the 
Housmans and began telling him about 
my dinner. He froze at once and said 
Mrs Housman was an extremely nice 
woman. I said something about Housman, 
and George said: "Oh, not at all a bad 
fellow." So I saw I was on dangerous 
ground. Housman has asked me to spend 
next Sunday at his country house, a small 
villa on the Thames near Staines. I am 
going. 

They are dining with me on Thursday. 
I asked George, too, and he accepted 
joyfully. 

Yours, 

G. 



Monday, May z\th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I am just back from the 

country. But first I must tell you about 

my dinner. I had asked the Housmans, 

George, Eileen Hope, and Madame de 

60 



Passing By 



Saint Luce who is staying in London for 
three weeks. Just before dinner I got a 
telegram saying that Mrs Housman was 
laid up and couldn't possibly come. Hous- 
man arrived by himself. George was 
evidently frightfully annoyed and hardly 
spoke. Madame de Saint Luce was 
amazed and rather amused by Housman, 
and after dinner Eileen sang beautifully, 
so it went off fairly well except for 
George. 

Saturday I went down to Staines. 
Housman had got an elegant villa on 
the river. Very ugly, with red tiles, 
photogravures, and green wooden chairs 
and a conservatory, full of calceolaria. 
But I must say his food is delicious. 
George was there, Lady Jarvis, and 
Miss Sarah. 

After dinner on Saturday there was a 
slight fracas. George asked Mrs Housman 
to sing. She didn't much want to, but 
finally said she would. Miss Sarah, who 
is a brilliant pianist, said she would 
6i 



P as si ng B\ 



accompany her (she evidently hates being 
accompanied). She sang a song of 
Schubert's, Gute Nacht. Miss Sarah 
played it rather fast. Mrs Housman 
said it ought to be slower. Miss Sarah 
said it was meant to be fast, and that 
was her conception of the song in any 
case. 

Mrs Housman said she couldn't sing it 
like that, and didn't, and then she said 
she couldn't sing at all. Afterwards she 
did sing some English ballads and accom- 
panied herself. 

She sings most beautifully, her voice 
is perfectly produced and you hear every 
word. There is nothing throaty or 
operatic about it but her voice goes 
straight through one. George was en- 
tranced. Sunday afternoon George and 
Mrs H. went out on the river and stayed 
out all the afternoon. I spent the after- 
noon with Lady Jarvis, who is most clever 
and amusing. She told me all about the 
Housmans. Mrs H. is not Canadian but 
62 



Pass ing By 



Irish. She was brought up in a convent 
in French Canada. Directly she came 
out of it her marriage with H., who was 
then in a Canadian firm, was arranged by 
her aunt (her aunt was an imbecile and 
quite penniless). They lived several years 
in Canada, California and other parts of 
America, and came to England about 
three years ago. Housman was unfaith- 
ful from the first. Lady Jarvis knew 
about Celia Russell. I asked her if Mrs 
Housman knew. She said she — Lady 
Jarvis — didn't know, but it wouldn't 
make any difference if Mrs H. did or 
not. She said : " There is nothing about 
Albert Housman that Clare doesn't know." 
Then she said that unless I was blind I 
must of course have seen George was 
madly in love with her. 

I said I agreed. She said she thought 
Mrs Housman was madly in love with 
him. I said I wasn't sure. Lady Jarvis 
said she was quite sure. 

They came back very late from the 
63 



Passing By 



river and Mrs Housman didn't come 
down to dinner. She said she had a 
headache. We had rather a gloomy 
dinner although Miss Sarah and Lady 
Jarvis never stopped talking for a moment, 
but George was silent. 

You know he sees nobody now except 
the Housmans. 

Yours, 

G. 



64 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, May j,rd. Gray's Inn. 

A. returned to London a day sooner than 
he was expected. His Secretary, Tuke, 
had not returned. He had left his address 
with me. He spent his holiday in the 
Guest House, Fort Augustus Abbey, a 
Benedictine monastery. He returned 
this morning. A. asked me on Saturday 
where he was. When I told him, A. 
showed great surprise. He said : " He 
has been with me six years and I never 
knew he was an R.C. It's extraordinary 
when a thing once turns up, you then 
meet with it every day. I seem always 
to be coming across Catholics now." 

Tuesday, May i^th. 

Alfred Riley telegraphed to me to 
know whether I could put him up to- 
night. I have answered in the affirma- 
tive, but he will be, I fear, most 
uncomfortable. 

E 65 



P as s i ng B y 



Wednesday, May ^th. 

Riley arrived last night. He has been 
in Paris for the last three months working 
at the Bihliotheque Nationale. He told 
me he had something of importance to 
tell me : that he was seriously thinking 
of becoming a Roman Catholic. I was 
greatly surprised. He was the last person 
I would expect to do such a thing. I told 
him I had no prejudice against Roman 
Catholics, but it was very difficult for me 
to believe that a man of his intellectual 
attainments could honestly believe the 
things he would be expected to believe. 
Also, if he needed a Church I did not 
understand why he could not be satisfied 
with the Church of England, which was 
a historic Church. He said : " Do you 
remember when we were at Oxford that 
we used to say it would be a great sell if 
we found out when we were dead that 
Christianity was true after all .-' Well, 
I believe it is true. I believe, not in 
spite of my reason, nor against my reason, 
66 



Pa s sing By 



nor apart from my reason, but with my 
reason. Well, if one believes with one's 
reason in the Christian revelation, that is 
to say, if one believes that God has uttered 
Himself fully and uniquely through Christ, 
such a belief has certain logical conse- 
quences." I said nothing, for indeed I did 
not know what to say. Riley laughed 
and said : " Don't be alarmed ; don't think 
I am going to hand you a tract. For 
Heaven's sake let me be able to speak 
out at least to one person about this." 
I begged him to go on, and he said he 
thought Catholicism was the only logical 
consequence of a belief in the Christian 
revelation. Anglicanism and all forms 
of Protestantism seemed to him like the 
lopped off branches of a living tree. 

I asked him what there was to prevent 
him worshipping in Roman Catholic 
churches if he felt inclined that way with- 
out sacrificing his intellectual freedom to 
their tenets. 

He said : " You talk as if it was ritual 
67 



Passing By 



I cared for and wanted. One can be 
glutted with ritual in the Anghcan Church 
if one wants that." 

As for giving up one's freedom, he 
said I must agree that law, order and 
discipline were the indispensable con- 
ditions of freedom. He had never heard 
Catholics complain of any loss of freedom, 
indeed Catholic philosophy, manners, 
customs, and even speech, seemed to him 
much freer than Protestant or Agnostic 
philosophy, and what it stood for. He 
asked me which I thought was freest, 
a Sunday in Paris or Rome or a Sunday 
in Glasgow or London. 

I suggested his waiting a year. He 
said perhaps he would. 

Thursday, May dth. 

Riley talked of music, Wagner, Parsifal. 
He quoted some Frenchman who said that 
Parsifal was " moins beau que nimporte 
quelle Messe Basse dans nimporte quelle 
Eglise." I said that I had never been to 
68 



Pass ing By 



a Low Mass in my life, but that I disliked 
the music at most High Masses I had 
attended. I said I disliked Wagner, especi- 
ally Parsifal. He said he agreed about 
Wagner, but I did not understand what 
the Frenchman had meant. I confessed 
I did not. He said : " It is like com- 
paring a description of something to the 
reality." I told him that I envied people 
who were born Catholics, but I did not 
think it was a thing you could become. 
He said it was not like becoming a 
Mussulman. He was simply going back 
to the older tradition of his country, to 
what Melanchthon and Dr Johnson called 
and what in the Highlands they still call 
the Old Religion. I told him that I had 
once heard a man say, talking of becom- 
ing a Roman Catholic, "if I could tell 
the first lie, all the rest would be easy and 
follow naturally down to scapulars and 
Holy Water." 

Friday, May •]th. 

Riley left this morning. He has gone 
69 



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back to Paris. He is not going to take 
any immediate step. 
Sunday, May ()ih 

I went to see Mrs Housman yesterday 
afternoon. I told her what Riley had 
told me. I asked her if she thought 
people could become Roman Catholics if 
they were not born so. She said she 
wished that she had not been born a 
Catholic so as she might have become 
one. She envied those who could make 
the choice. I asked her if she did not 
consider there was something unreal about 
converts. She said she thought English 
converts were in a very difficult situation 
which required the utmost tact. Many 
perhaps lacked this tact. She said that 
in Canada and America, where she had 
lived most of her life, the anti-Catholic 
prejudice as it existed in England did 
not exist, at any rate it was not of the 
same kind. "The nursery anti-Catholic 
tradition doesn't exist there." 

She asked me what I had advised 
70 



Passing By 



Riley to do. I told her I had dissuaded 
him from taking such a step and had 
begged hirn to wait. She said: "If he 
is to become a Catholic there will be a 
moment when he will not be able to help 
it. Faith is a gift. People do not become 
Catholics under the influence of people 
or books, although people and books may 
sometimes help or sometimes hinder, but 
because they are pulled over by an invisible 
rope — -what we call Grace." 

I told her I would find it difficult to 
believe that a man like Riley would believe 
what he would have to believe. She 
asked me whether I found it difficult 
to believe that she accepted the dogmas 
of the Church. I said I was convinced 
she believed what she professed, but that 
I thought that born Catholics believed 
things in a different way than we did. I 
did not believe that this could be learnt 
by converts. 

She said I probably thought that 
Catholics believed all sorts of things 
71 



Passing By 



which they did not beHeve. Such at least 
was her experience of English Protestants, 
who seemed to imbibe curious traditions 
in the nursery, on the subject. 

I asked her if Mr Housman believed in 
Catholic dogma. She said : " Albert has 
been baptized and brought up as a Catholic, 
but he is an Agnostic. He is very 
charitable towards Catholic institutions." 

She asked me more about Riley and 
whether he had any Catholic friends. I 
said : " Not to my knowledge." " Poor 
man, I am afraid he will be very lonely," 
she said. 

She said that she herself knew hardly 
any Catholics in England, that is to saj' 
she had no real Catholic friends, and that 
she felt as if she were living in perpetual 
exile. 

"You see," she said, "your friend 
ought to realise that he will have to face 
the prejudice and the dislike not only of 
narrow-minded people but of very nice 
intelligent and broad-minded people, who 
72 



Passing By 



agree with you about almost everything 
else. The Church has always been hated 
from the beginning, and it always will be 
hated. In the past it was people like 
Marcus Aurelius who carried out the 
worst persecutions and hated the Church 
most bitterly with the very best inten- 
tions, and it is in a different way just the 
same now." 

I said that to me it was an impossible 
mental gymnastic to think that Catholicism 
was the same thing as early Christianity. 

She said : " Because the tree has grown 
so big you think it is not the same plant, 
but it is. When I go to Mass I feel as if 
I were looking through the wrong end of 
a telescope right back into the catacombs 
and farther." 

I told her Riley would take no decisive 
step. He had promised to wait. She 
said there was no harm in that. There 
were many other things I wished to ask 
her, but A. arrived, and after talking on 
various topics for a few moments I left. 
73 



Pass ing By 



Monday, May \oth. 

A. told me he had been invited to 
dinner by Aunt Ruth next Thursday 
and that he was going. He asked me 
whether I was invited. I said I was 
invited. 
Tuesday, May nth. 

Cunninghame said he was dining at the 
Housmans' to-night. 
Wednesday, May 12th. 

I asked C. whether he had enjoyed his 
dinner. He said it was very pleasant, 
but that the music was too classical for 
his taste. A. was not there. 
Thursday, May \j,th. 

I dined last night with A. in his flat. 
Nobody but ourselves. A. played the 
pianola after dinner. He said I must 
come and stay with him in the country 
soon. He would try and get the Hous- 
mans to come too, 

Friday, May \\th. 

A. dined with Uncle Arthur and Aunt 
Ruth. So did I. It was a dinner for the 
74 



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American Ambassador. I sat next to a 
Miss Audrey Bax, a lady of decided views 
and picturesque appearance. She talked 
about Joan of Arc, and asked me whether 
I had read Anatole France's book about 
her. I said I had not, but I had read an 
English translation of Joan of Arc's trial 
which I thought one of the most impressive 
records I had ever read. She said : " Ah, 
you like the stained-glass-window point of 
view about those sort of people." I was 
rather nettled and said I preferred facts 
to fiction. I thought Joan of Arc as she 
appeared in her trial was a very sensible 
as well as being a very remarkable person. 
She had not read this. She said Anatole 
France told one all one wanted to know 
from a rational point of view. It was a 
comfort to read common-sense about this 
sort of hallucinated people. A man who 
was sitting opposite her joined eagerly in 
the conversation, and said that the two 
people in the whole of history who had 
made the finest defence when tried were 
75 



Pas sing B y 



Mary Queen of Scots and Joan of Arc. 
Miss Bax said she supposed he looked 
upon Mary Queen of Scots as a martyred 
saint. The other man, whose name I 
found out afterwards was Ashfield, an 
American who is now at the American 
Embassy, said that he regarded Mary 
Queen of Scots as a woman who was 
tried for her life and who had defended 
herself without lawyers without making 
a single mistake under the most difficult 
circumstances. He said he had been a 
lawyer, and spoke from a lawyer's point 
of view. Miss Bax went back to Joan 
of Arc and Anatole France and said his 
book was as important a work as Renan's 
Vie de Jtfsus. Mr Ashfield said he thought 
that work no improvement on the Gospel. 
I said 1 had not read it. Miss Bax aorain 
said that if we preferred sentimental tradi- 
tions we were at liberty to do so. She 
preferred rational writers untainted by 
superstition. Ashfield said he regarded 
Renan as a sentimental writer. Miss 
76 



Passing By 



Bax said : " No doubt you prefer Dean 
Farrar." Ashfield said he did not think 
Renan's book was a more successful 
attempt to rewrite the Gospels than Dean 
Farrar's although it was better written. 
She said that proved her point, and as 
she seemed satisfied, we talked of other 
things. But throughout her conversation 
she struck me for a professed free-thinker 
to be singularly dogmatic and sometimes 
almost fanatical, 
Saturday, May it,th. 

Spent the afternoon and evening with Sol- 
way at Woking but came back after dinner. 
Sunday, May i6ih. 

Went to see Mrs Housman in the after- 
noon, but she was not at home. This is 
the first time she has not been at home on 
Sunday afternoons for a very long time. 
Monday, May 1.1th. 

A. said he was going to the opera 
to-night. Housman, whom he had seen 
yesterday, had told him it would be a very 
fine performance. 

77 



Pass ing By 



Tuesday, May iSth. 

Went to the opera in the gallery. Some 
fine singing. Cunninghame had been in 
the Housmans' box. 

IVednesday, May \<^th. 

Was going to dine with the Housmans 
to-night, but Mrs Housman is unwell. 
Thursday, May 20th. 

Lady Jarvis has asked me to stay with 
her Sunday week. 
Friday, May 21st 

This morning a man called Barnes came 
to the office. He is an acquaintance of 
Cunninghame's ; he is in the F.O. He 
talked of various things, and then he 
asked Cunninghame whether he knew 
Mrs Housman. He said she was playing 
fast and loose with A.'s affections. She 
was doing it, of course, to convert him. 
Catholics didn't mind how immoral thfiy 
were in such a cause. He said that she 
was well known for it. She had refused 
to marry Housman till he had been con- 
verted. He had been so much in love 
78 



Passing By 



with her that he could not refuse. I said 
that I happened to know that Housman 
had been baptized a Catholic when he 
was born. Cunninghame bore me out 
and said it was all nonsense about A. He 
was sure Catholicism had nothing to do 
with it. He knew Mrs Housman quite 
well and she had never mentioned it to 
him. Barnes said we could say what 
we liked, but all London was talking of 
A.'s unfortunate passion and Mrs H.'s 
behaviour. 

" One sees them everywhere together," 
he said. 

C. said : " Where ? " 

Barnes said : " Oh, at all the restaurants 
and at the opera." 

Cunninghame said he had expected 
Mrs Housman to dinner, but she had 
been unable to come. 
Saturday, May zind. 

Called on Mrs Housman to inquire. 
They have gone to the country until 
Monday. 

79 



Passing By 



Monday, May 2\th. 

I had luncheon with A. to-day at his 
flat. He said he had been staying with 
the Housmans at their house on the 
Thames. He said he had put his foot in 
it. On Saturday night at dinner they 
were talking about Ireland, and he said 
he had no wish to go to a country full of 
priests. Mrs Housman told him, laugh- 
ing, she was a Catholic. He asked me if 
I had known this. I told him I had always 
known it. He asked me whether she was 
very devout. I said I knew she always 
went to Mass on Sundays, that she had 
never mentioned the subject to me except 
once when I asked her a question with 
reference to a friend of mine. He asked 
me whether Housman was a Catholic too. 
I told him what I knew. 

Tuesday, May 2^th. 

Went to the opera, in the Housmans' 
box. Housman and Cunninghame were 
there. Mrs Housman did not come. A. 
looked in during the oiir'acie. 
80 



Passing By 



Wednesday, May 26th. 

A. gave a dinner at his Club. All 
politicians exceptmyself and Cunninghame. 

Thursday, May 2,'jth. 

Tuke asked me to take a ticket for 
a concert at Hammersmith at which his 
sister is performing on the piano. I have 
done so. 

Friday, May z%th. 

Luncheon with A. at his Club. He is 
staying with Lady Jarvis on Saturday. 
The Housmans, he said, will be there. 
Cunninghame is going also. A. told me 
Mrs Housman has not been well lately. 
I said I thought she did too much. He 
asked me in what sort of way. I said she 
attended to a great many charities and 
that as Housman entertained a great deal 
I thought it tired her. Mrs Housman 
had told him I was very musical. He 
asked me if I played any instrument. I 
said none except the penny whistle. He 
asked me if I did not think Mrs Housman 
F 81 



Passing By 



a very fine singer. I said I did. He 
also said that he supposed she knew a lot 
of priests. I said I had never met one in 
her house. 

Sunday, May jfith. Rosedale, Surrey. 

I arrived rather late last night. Besides 
the guests I knew I was to meet, was 
a Frenchman, M. Raphael Luc, and a 
Mrs Vaughan. After dinner we had 
some music. M. Luc sang several French 
songs, by Lully, and others that I had 
heard Mrs Housman sing. His singing 
was greatly appreciated and applauded, 
and it is, I confess, as far as it goes, 
perfection itself, as regards quality, taste 
and art, but I could not help thinking the 
whole time that it would be impossible for 
him to interpret Schubert. 

This morning I sat in the garden and 
read the newspapers. Mrs Housman 
drove to Church which was some distance 
off. 

Mr Winchester Hill, the novelist, arrived 
for luncheon and brought with him Miss 
82 



Passing By 



Ella Dasent, the actress. At the end of 
the meal she gave us some vivid impersona- 
tions of contemporary actors and actresses. 

We sat talking for some time in the 
verandah. Then Lady Jarvis took 
Housman to show him the garden, and 
Cunninghame walked away with Mrs 
Vaughan and M. Luc. 

Miss Housman, Mr Hill, Miss Dasent, 
and myself remained on long chairs under- 
neath a large tree. Miss Dasent and Mr 
Hill discussed at great length a play that 
he is adapting for her from one of his 
novels. The story seemed to me absurd 
— it was something about an Italian noble- 
man strangling his wife's lover with a silk 
handkerchief. 

Towards five we had tea and after tea 
Mrs Vaughan took me for a stroll round 
the garden. 

I found her a well-read woman who has 
lived a great deal in Paris and is familiar 
with the Bohemian world in more than one 
continent. 

83 



Pass ing By 



At dinner I sat between Mrs Housman 
and Cunninghame. Mrs Housman said 
that Luc's singing made one despair, and 
she felt she could never sing again after 
hearing him. I told her I doubted if he 
could interpret German music. She was 
annoyed with me and said I was missing 
the point, and that the songs he sang 
were exquisite. 

We sat in the verandah after dinner, 
while Luc sang to us from the drawing- 
room. He sang P^aure's settings to 
Verlaine's words. 



84 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Monday, May 21st. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have just come back 
from Rosedale, where I have been staying 
with Lady Jarvis. It is an old Tudor 
house that was bodily transported from 
the west of England. I believe it is 
quite genuine, but it looks unreal and 
the rooms are like show rooms at a 
second-hand dealer's. The garden is quite 
beautiful. We had a most amusing party. 
Jane Vaughan (looking very pretty), 
^ Raphael Luc, George, the Housmans. 
Raphael sang both nights quite divinely 
after dinner. On Saturday night we all 
sat in the big downstairs room, but after 
he had sung two songs Mrs Housman went 
out on the verandah. She is so musical that 
one could see it was more than she could 
bear. I am certain she felt she was going 
to cry. Sunday morning I had a long 
85 



Pas sin,g By 



talk with Lady Jarvis. She told me Mrs 
Housman is a very strict and devout 
Catholic. We both agreed that there is 
no doubt that George is very much in 
love with her. She thinks she is in love 
with him. I am still not sure Lady Jarvis 
is right about her. I sat next to her 
(Mrs H.) at dinner on Saturday night, 
and George was on her other side. She 
was perfectly natural, but 1 thought miles 
away. During the whole time we were 
there she didn't pay much attention to 
him and she didn't avoid him. She went 
to church by herself on Sunday morning 
and stayed in all the afternoon. I think 
she likes him, but nothing more than that. 

Godfrey Mellor, the silent Secretary, is 
devoted to her too. The other morning 
at the office a man came to see us and 
said all sorts of most absurdly silly things 
about Mrs H. I could see he was furious. 
He has known the Housmans quite a long 
time. 

More people came down to luncheon on 
86 



Passing By 



Sunday, but nobody interesting. George 
says he will be able to yacht now. I 
think Mrs H. is delightful. I like her 
more and more. I have been to the opera 
twice, to a good many dinners, and some 
balls. There may be a chance of Paris 
for a few days later. 

Yours, 

G. 



87 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, May 51 si. 

I travelled back from Rosedale with A. 
He asked me if I was fond of yachting. 
I said I was a moderate sailor. He asked 
me to gt) next Saturday to his house near 
Littlehampton. His sister is going to be 
there, and perhaps the Housmans. Dined 
at the Club. 

Tuesday, /i///e is/. 

There is going to be a large concert at 
the Albert Hall for the Albemarle Relief 
Fund. Tuke brought the programme 
and placed it on my table this morning. 
Esther Lake is singing, and the Hous- 
mans and A. are among the patrons. 
Dined with A. at his Club. He told me 
he thought Mrs Housman was far from 
well. He said what she wants is sea air. 

Wednesday, June 2nd. 

Cunninghame told me he had dined 
at the Housmans' last night. He said 



Pass ing By 



there was no one there but himself and 
Carrington-Smith. He said Mrs Hous- 
man talks of going away soon. London 
tires her. Dined at the Club. 

Thursday, June yd. 

I have just come back from a dinner- 
party at Aunt Ruth's. A great many 
diplomats and politicians. I sat between 
Thornton- Davis, who is at the F.O. now, 
and Mrs Vernon, who is French and a 
Legitimist and talks of the Place de la 
Concorde as the Place Louis XV. Aunt 
Ruth said she heard A. was doing 
very well and spoke well in the House. 
It's a pity, she said, that he is such a 
Tory. 

Friday, June ^th. 

Went this afternoon to the concert at 
—the Albert Hall for the Relief Fund in 
the Housmans' box. Miss Housman and 
Mrs Carrington-Smith were there, but 
neither Mrs nor Mr Housman. Miss 
Housman says that Mrs Housman has 
89 



Passing By 



not been well lately. She said she goes 
out far too much. I enjoyed nothing in 
the programme. Dined at the Club. 

Saturday, June ^th. 

A. told me he expected me at Little- 
hampton, but that I would find it dull, as 
he had no party. 

Sunday, June 6th. Littlehampton. 

A. has a nice and comfortable little 
house. His yacht, a small cutter with 
room for two to sleep on board, is here. 
He took Mrs Campion and myself out 
this morning. There was what is called 
a nice breeze. I cannot say I enjoyed it 
very much. He told me that he had 
asked the Housmans, but they could not 
come, Mrs Housman is going to Corn- 
wall soon for the rest of the summer. 
She has not been well, and the doctors 
told her she must leave London. A. 
said he would miss them very much. 
He liked them both exceedingly, and 
he thought Miss Sarah was such a good 
90 



Passing By 



sort. A. said the truth was that Mrs H. 
worked herself to death over charities 
and things hke that. He was sure the 
priests were greatly to blame for this. 



91 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, June ith. 

Dearest Elsie, 

There's not the slightest 
chance of my coming over to Paris now. 
I am not going to Ascot at all this year. 
The Housmans thought of taking a house 
for Ascot week, but she has not been 
well, and they are staying out of London 
till they go down to Cornwall. They have 
taken a house somewhere near the Lizard, 
and when she goes she will stay the whole 
summer. 

Both George and poor little Mellor are 
in low spirits. I had a very nice letter 
from Mrs H. asking me to go down there 
in August and to stay as long as I liked. 

Housman has lent me his box for the 
whole of Ascot week. There is such a 
rush that I haven't time to write properly 
to you. Yours, 

G. 

92 



Passing By 



London, 
Friday, June lith. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have spent the most 
perfect Ascot week in London. I have 
enjoyed every moment of it. I went to 
the opera every night in the Housmans' 
box, which besides being fun was most 
convenient as I was able to ask people 
who had done things for me. I dined on 
Saturday with Jimmy Randall, who had 
been at Ascot all the week. He says 
that Housman has fallen violently in love 
with a Mrs Rachel Park. You may 
possibly have heard of her. She used to 
sing at concerts under the name of Rose 
Sinclair. She was quite beautiful, with 
enormous eyes and flaming hair, but 
quite brainless and quite unmusical. She 
married a barrister who is now Park, K.C. 
He works like a slave, but she spends 
money more quickly than he can make it. 
This explains the Cornwall arrangement. 
Jimmy R. says that H. has violent scenes 
93 



Pass ing By 



with Celia R. and that the end of that 

idyll is only a question of hours. He 

says Mrs P. will lead him a dance. She 

is mercenary, stupid, common and a real 

harpy. Poor "Bert," as Jimmy Randall 

calls Housman. He is so good-natured. 

And poor Mrs H.! Mellor hardly spea&s 

at all now, and George doesn't say much. 

He goes nowhere, but talks of yachting 

on the west coast during the summer. 

Yours, 

G. 

P.S. — Just got your telegram. I am 
delighted you are coming to London. I 
particularly wanted you to meet Mrs 
Housman — and " Bert." You must come. 
And now I shall just be able to manage 
this if you will dine with me on Monday 
night. She leaves for Cornwall on Tues- 
day morning. I've asked George too. He 
stays in London till Parliament is over, 
and then he is going away and I shall be 
free. How much leave will Jack get? 
Three weeks at least, I hope. The 
94 



Passing By 



Shamiers want you to stay with them 
Sunday week, and Lady Jarvis wants you 
to go down there. If you don't want to 
stay there, we might go down for luncheon 
one day. I shall be in London till the 
end of July. Then I am going to Worsel 
for a fortnight. The Housmans have 
asked me to go to Cornwall, and I shall 
try and fit that in between Worsel and 
the Shamiers. They have been lent a 
lodge in Scotland and have asked me to 
go there in September. I have promised 
to stay a few days at Edith's as well. 

There is a parcel for me at the 
Embassy. It is too big for the bag. 
Could you bring it with you ? 



95 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Tuesday, June loth. 

Dined with Cunninghame last night 
to meet his cousin, Mrs Caryl. She is 
the wife of a diplomat who is Second 
Secretary at Paris. A pleasant dinner. 
The Housmans were there, and A. and his 
sister. 

Friday, June 2e^th. 

Received a letter from Mrs Housman 
to-day. She says the change of air is 
doing her good. She hopes I will come 
to Cornwall some time during my holiday. 

Monday, July ^th. 

Dined with Housman last night. Miss 
Housman was there, and the Carrington- 
Smiths, and a Mrs Park who used to be a 
professional singer. She sang after dinner. 
Miss Housman accompanied her. She sang 
Tosti's Ninon, some Lassen, some Bem- 
berg, a song by Lord Henry Somerset, and 
E. Purcell's Passing By. Miss Housman 
96 



Passing By 



said it was a comfort to accompany some- 
one who had a sense of time. She has 
a powerful voice and has been well trained, 
but Passing- By did not suit her style of 
singing, and I regretted that she had 
attempted that song. She was not always 
in tune. 

Housman enjoyed it, and accompanied 
her himself afterwards in some coon songs 
which he played by ear. 

Housman asked me to stay with them 
for the whole of August. He said he was 
very anxious that I should go, as he would 
not be able to be much in Cornwall and he 
was afraid Mrs Housman would be lonely. 
He asked Cunninghame also. I accepted. 

A. spends all his spare time now on his 
yacht. I am going to stay with him next 
Saturday. 

Monday, July 12th. 

A. is going to the Cowes Regatta. He 
asked me to go with him, but I am leaving 
on the I St of August for Cornwall. 
G 97 



Passing By 



Sunday, August tst. Grey Farm, 
Carbis Bay, Cornwall. 

I arrived here last night. A pleasant 
spot near the sea and not far from a golf 
links. Mrs Housman and Housman are 
here alone. Housman is greatly perturbed 
because Mrs Carrington-Smith is bringing 
a divorce suit against her husband for 
infidelity. The other person concerned 
is Miss Hope, whom I met at dinner one 
night at Cunninghame's flat. Housman 
says that Miss Hope is neurotic and 
unhinged. Mrs Housman has never met 
Miss Hope. 

Housman said he hoped I would be 
able to stay on here, as he would not 
be able to spend much time in Cornwall. 
Carrington-Smith was so greatly upset by 
this wretched business that he could not 
attend to the affairs of the firm. He was 
afraid Mrs Housman would be lonely. 
Lady Jarvis had promised to come later, 
and Cunninghame also, but he did not 
know when. Miss Housman had been 
98 



Passing By 



obliged to go to Vichy to take the waters. 
Housman played golf in the afternoon 
with a member of the Club. I am not 
a golf player, unfortunately. I told him 
that Cunninghame was an admirable 
player. 

Monday, August ■znd. 

Housman has been telegraphed for and 
left this morning. In the afternoon we 
went for a long drive and had tea in 
a farm-house. The climate is warm and 
agreeable. 
Tuesday, August ^rd. 

Bathed in the sea this morning and 
went for a long walk in the afternoon with 
Mrs H. After dinner she tried some new 
songs by Tchaikovsky. We did not care 
for them much and fell back on Schubert. 
Schubert is her favourite composer. She 
sang the Gruppe aus Tartarus. 

Wednesday, August \th. 

We went for an expedition to the 
Lizard. Mrs Housman told me that 
when she was a girl she had much wanted 
99 



Pass ing By 



to become a professional singer, and that 
she was studying for the Concert Stage 
when she met Housman. 
Thursday, August ^th. 

We sat on the beach all the afternoon. 
It was extremely hot and enjoyable. 
Mrs Housman read Consuelo, by George 
Sand, aloud. She reads French with 
great purity of accent. 

Father Stanway, the local priest, came 
to dinner, a cheerful man with a venerable 
appearance. When we were left alone, 
after dinner, talking of men in public 
offices, he said he knew Bowes, in the 
Foreign Office, who had spent his Easter 
holidays here. I asked him whether he 
thought converts of that description made 
satisfactory Catholics. He said he thought 
Bowes would be an admirable Catholic. 
I said I thought it must be very difficult 
for a man of his upbringing, as Bowes 
had been brought up in a rigid Church of 
England family, and his father often wrote 
to The Times, condemning ritualistic 
loo 



Passing By 



practices and innovations. Father Stan- 
way said it was not so complicated as I 
thought. There were only three things 
indispensable to a man if he wished to 
become a Catholic : To believe in God, 
to follow his conscience, to love his neigh- 
bour as himself If he did that all the 
rest was easy. He said he admired Bowes 
greatly for taking the step. 

Friday, August (tth. 

We went to the Land's End, where 
there were a great many tourists. Mrs 
Housman continues to read out loud 
Consuelo in the afternoons and evenings. 
It is an interesting book, but I prefer 
Jane Eyre. 

Satnrdav, August ith. 

I received a letter from Riley this 
morning. He has been in London nearly 
a month, and was there a fortnight before 
I left, but he did not come to see me for 
the following reason. He has taken the 
step and has been received into the Roman 

lOI 



Passing By 



Catholic Church, and he says his first 
intention was not to tell anyone of his 
conversion. He did not come to see me 
because he knew he would not be able 
to help discussing it. He is no longer 
making a secret of it now. He found this 
too difficult. Two or three days after 
he had been received he happened to be 
dining out and it was a Friday. His 
hostess said to him, in the course of 
conversation : " You are not a Catholic, 
are you .-' " He resolved then and there 
to keep it secret no longer. 

He tells me in liis letter, "Your phil- 
osophy of the first lie is quite right. Only 
I regard what you call the first lie as the 
Jlrst Truth. Once this is so, all the rest 
follows." He says that after he left me 
in Gray's Inn in May he resolved to put 
the matter from him for a time and not to 
think about it. He went back to Paris 
and pursued his research. One morning 
he woke up and felt he could not delay 
another moment. He took the train for 

Io2 



Passing By 



London the next day, where he intended 
to go soon in any case for his holiday, 
and the day after his arrival he called at 
the Brompton Oratory and asked to see 
a priest, as he knew no priests. He sat 
in a small waiting-room downstairs, and 
presently an elderly priest. Father X., 
arrived and asked him what he could do 
for him. He told him he wished for 
instruction prior to becoming a Catholic. 
He called the next day. Father X. told 
him after they had talked for some time 
that he did not think he would need much 
instruction. But he continued to see him 
for the next three weeks. He was then 
received. He says that what seemed be- 
fore a step of great difficulty now appeared 
quite extraordinarily simple, and he cannot 
conceive why he did not take it a long 
time ago. 
Sunday, August ?>tk. 

Mrs Housman went to Mass. I sat in 
the o-arden ; when she returned from Mass 
I told her about Riley. She asked me 
X03 



Passing B \ 



how old he was. I said I thought he 
was about thirty-five. I told her he was 
a brilliant scholar, and had taken high 
honours at Oxford. He had a post at 
the Liverpool University. She said she 
had felt certain he would come into the 
Church. 

Lady Jarvis is coming here next week. 

Monday, August ^th. 

We spent the whole day on the beach, 
reading aloud. Housman has written to 
say that Mrs Carrington-Smith will insist 
on bringing their affairs into court. 
Carrington-Smith is much worried. Mrs 
Housman says that Mrs Carrington-Smith 
is an absurd woman. 

Tuesday, August loth. 

We spent the morning at St Ives, 
shopping. I bought The Pickwick Papers 
and an old silver teapot. We sat on the 
beach in the afternoon, reading Consuelo. 
After dinner Mrs Housman sang a beauti- 
ful French-Canadian song. 
104 



Passing By 



Wednesday, August 11 th. 

Just as we were sitting down to luncheon 

A. walked into the room ; he had sailed 

here from Cowes in his yacht, which is 

anchored in the bay. He could not stay 

to luncheon as he was lunching at the 

Golf Club with a friend. Mrs Housman 

asked him to dinner. He accepted. He 

said he had spent a most enjoyable week 

at Cowes in his yacht, but had not won 

any races. His sister had been with him, 

only as she is a bad sailor she had not 

enjoyed the sailing as much as he would 

have liked. Cunninghame has been at 

Cowes for three days on board a Mr 

Venderling's steam yacht (an American). 

A. says that he intends to spend some 

time here cruising about the coast. 

Thur.Jay, August xith. 

Lady Jarvis arrived this morning. She 
says she thinks that if Mrs Carrington- 
Smith goes into court she will get a 
divorce. She has substantial evidence. 
Carrington- Smith is most uneasy. 
105 



Pass ing By 



A. came to luncheon and proposed that 
we should all go for a sail in the afternoon 
together. Lady Jarvis and I declined, 
as we are both moderate sailors. Mrs 
Housman went with him. They came 
back at six and she said she had enjoyed 
it immensely. 
Fiidav, August XT,th. 

Mrs Housman received a telegram from 
Housman this morning, telling her she 
must ask A. to stay here in the house. 
She had written to tell him — Housman — 
A. was here. A. came to luncheon and Mrs 
Housman invited him to stay. He said he 
would be pleased to do so for a few days, 
but that he is due in his yacht early next 
week at Plymouth. Mrs Housman has re- 
ceived a letter from Cunninghame, asking 
whether it would be convenient for him to 
come next week. She has telegraphed to 
him that she would be glad to receive him. 
Saturday, August ij^th. 

The weather was so beautiful and the 
sea was so smooth that we were all per- 
io6 



Passing By 



suaded to go on board the yacht, where 
we had luncheon. We went for a short 
sail in the afternoon. Although I did not 
feel ill I cannot say 1 enjoyed it, I prefer 
the dry land. Lady Jarvis said she 
enjoyed it greatly, although she is a bad 
sailor as a rule. Mrs Housman is an 
excellent sailor. 

Sunday, August T-^th. 

I am finishing Consuelo by myself as 
we are not able to read aloud any more. 
We all went for a drive in two carriages 
in the afternoon through disused mines, 
and had tea in a farm-house. 

A. says he is enjoying his holiday 
immensely. 

Cunninghame arrives here to-morrow. 
We had some music in the evening. A.'s 
favourite composer is Sullivan, but his 
favourite song is Offenbach's Chanson 
de Fortunio, which Mrs Housman sang 
to-night. 



107 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

Grey Farm, 

Carbis Bay, Cornwall, 

Tuesday, August i^th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I arrived here from Worsel 
last night, and found Mrs Housman, Lady 
Jarvis, George, who sailed here in his 
yacht from Cowes, and Godfrey Mellon 
It is the most delicious place. A blue 
sea with pink and purple streaks in it, 
and a soft west wind, and wonderful sand 
beaches, thick with people. It is the 
height of the season. The Housmans 
have oot a comfortable little house near 
a g-olf links. Housman has had to go to 

to o 

London to see his partner, Carrington- 
Smith, who has been threatened with 
divorce by his wife, who accuses him of 
infidelity with — who do you think ? — 
Eileen Hope. " Bert " is by way of com- 
ing down here on Saturday. George 
is radiantly happy. I don't think she's 
io8 



Pass ing By 



thinking about him. He wanted us all 
to go out in his yacht this afternoon, 
but as it was blowing half a gale Mrs 
Housman was the only one who faced the 
elements. She is a passionately good 
sailor and the rougher it is the more she 
enjoys it. I played golf with a General 
York who lives here. Godfrey Mellor 
doesn't play, which is tiresome. We are 
having the greatest fun. Lady Jarvis is 
in the most splendid form. She told us 
some killing stories about Mrs Carrington- 
Smith. She says that the whole of last 
year she would only eat raw roots and 
uncooked fruit because she says in a 
former existence she was a priestess of 
I sis, and that was the rule. Lady Jarvis 
pointed out to her that she is not a 
priestess of I sis now, but she said that if 
she ate meat it would spoil her chance of 
serving Isis again in her next existence. 
She said, too, that it would displease the 
elementals. Mrs Housman seems per- 
fectly happy and cheerful. Mellor is 
109 



Passing By 



depressed, but I am terribly sorry for him. 
I feel he was having such a divine time 
here before we all came. 

Grey Farm, 
Monday, August 2^rd. 

Dearest Elsie, 

"Bert" came down on 
Saturday night, but went away this morn- 
ing. He is completely upset about 
Carrington-Smith, who says his wife is 
bent on divorcing" him. Now that he is 
gone one can laugh, but while he was 
there we simply didn't dare. Eileen was 
apparently a most imprudent correspond- 
ent. Housman says she will win her case 
without any doubt if she brings it into 
court. I played golf with him all Sunday. 
We had great fun after dinner last 
night. Mrs Housman sang songs out of 
the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and some 
Offenbach, too, the Chanson de Fortunio, 
too beautifully. George is desperately in 
love — but I still don't think she is. 

Yours, G. 

no 



Passing By 



Grey Farm, Carbis Bay, 
Tuesday, August 24M. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I am going to stay an- 
other week as Edith can't have me yet. 
George was leaving to-day, as he has 
got to be at Plymouth for a regatta some- 
where, but he has put off going till to- 
morrow because of the weather. 

I am enjoying myself immensely. I 
have got to like Godfrey Mellor very 
much. I went for a long walk with him 
one afternoon. When one gets him quite 
alone like that he talks quite a lot and is 
delightful. 

Mrs Carrington-Smith is going to insist 
on divorce. 

I am going to the Shamiers' on the ist 
of October. I told you they have been 
lent a lodge in Scotland on the coast. 
Yours etc., 

G. 



Ill 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, August i6th. Grey Farm, Carbis Bay. 

Cunninghame arrived late in the evening. 
We talked at dinner a great deal about 
the likelihood of the Carrington-Smith 
divorce. We discussed divorce in general 
Mrs Housman was of course against 
divorce, but she said that the rules of the 
Church were terribly hard on the indi- 
vidual in many cases. She said : " We 
are allowed to separate." 

Tuesday, August i^tk. 

We all went for an expedition to the 
Land's End. 

Wednesday, August i8//z. 

We all bathed in the morning. Mrs 
Carrington-Smith has refused to relent 
in spite of Housman's attempts at media- 
tion — apparently she found some letters 
addressed by Miss Hope to her husband 
and Miss Hope was an imprudent corre- 
spondent. Lady Jarvis and I wondered 

112 



Passing By 



why people kept letters, especially when 
they were compromising. Mrs Housmaa 
said she quite understood this. She never 
could bring herself to burn old letters, 
although she never looked at them. 

Thursday, August igfA. 

We had luncheon on board the yacht, 
but after luncheon we left A. on board 
and went for a walk on the cliffs. 

Friday, August 2otk. 

I went for a walk with Cunninghame 
in the afternoon. He talked a great deal 
about A. He said he ought to marry. 
He said he thought Mrs Housman was 
one of the nicest people he had ever met 
in his life. 

Saturday, August 21st. 

Housman arrived in the evening. It 
poured with rain all day, so we sat 
indoors. Lady Jarvis played patience. 
Mrs Housman played some old songs she 
found in the house. There is nothing, I 

H IT3 



Passing By 



think, more melancholy than old or, rather, 
old-fashioned music. 

Sunday, August ■22nd. 

Housman announced his intention of 
going to Mass with Mrs Housman this 
morning. He said he always did so at 
the seaside, he thought it right to support 
poor Missions. Housman said at luncheon 
that Father Stanway had preached an 
excellent sermon. He had said in his 
sermon that man was a ridiculous animal, 
and that every time we slip on a piece of 
orange-peel or sit down on a hat by 
mistake, we should give thanks for the 
Grace of God that is teaching us humility. 
In the afternoon Cunninghame and 
Housman played golf. Housman lost. 
He says Cunninghame is a very fine 
player. 

Monday, August ij^rd. 

Housman left for London this morningr. 
A. leaves to-morrow for Plymouth, but 
the weather is still very unsettled and it 

114 



Passing By 



has been blowing hard, and I wonder 
whether he will be able to start. 

Last night after dinner Mrs Housman 
suggested reading aloud. A. asked her 
to I read some stories by an American 
called O. Henry, whose works have not 
been published in England, and whom I 
had never heard of. A. has travelled in 
America. Mrs Housman did so. She 
said she thought we would find them 
difficult to understand as we did not 
know America. We did, that is to say, 
Cunninghame and myself. But A. was 
greatly amused, and Lady Jarvis said she 
thought they were clever. 
Tuesday, August 2^th. 

It is still blowing hard and A. has put 
off going to Plymouth altogether, as he 
would not get there in time for the regatta. 
Cunninghame and A. played golf to-day 
with a retired Indian General, who lives 
in a house about three miles from here. 
His name is York. They brought him 
back to tea, a brisk, direct man. He 



Passing By 



said something about his wife and Mrs 
Housman asked if she might call on 
her. General York said they would be 
delighted. 

More O. Henry was read out in the 
evening. I prefer Mrs Housman's read- 
ings in French literature. A. enjoyed it 
immensely. 

Wednesday, August 2^th. 

Mrs Housman called on Mrs York this 
afternoon. Mrs York greeted her with 
the words : " This is very unusual." Mrs 
Housman did not understand what was 
unusual. Mrs York said she did not 
recollect having called. She was the 
oldest inhabitant and had discovered the 
place. Mrs Housman apologised. She 
has asked the General and Mrs York to 
luncheon on Sunday. 

Thursday, jliigust 2.6t/i. 

Cunninghame played golf with the 
General. 1 went for a walk with Lady 
Jarvis in the afternoon. She talked of 

lib 



Passing By 



a great many things ; of music and 
musical education abroad. She considers 
Mrs Housman a fine artist. She talked 
of A., of his work and mine and my 
prospects for the future. I told her I en- 
joyed routine work and had no ambition to 
do anything else. She talked of marriage. 
She said A. ought certainly to marry soon 
as he would be very lonely otherwise. 
His sister, Mrs Campion, could not look 
after him, as she had her own children to 
look after. Her eldest daughter would 
soon be out. She asked me whether I 
had ever thought of marrying. She is 
a most intelligent and agreeable woman. 
Friday, August 11 th. 

A. was obliged to go to Penzance to- 
day for the day. We all went for a walk 
in the afternoon. It is finer and quite 
warm, but the sea is still very rough. 
Mrs Housman received a letter from Mrs 
York this morning saying that she was 
unable to come to luncheon on Sunday, 
but that she had no doubt the General 
117 



Pausing By 



would accept the invitation with pleasure. 
Mrs Housman wrote back to say she 
would be delighted to see the General on 
Sunday. 

The O. Henry book is finished. Mrs 
Housman is now reading us some stories 
by another American author, Richard 
Harding Davis. I wish she would return 
to European literature. But A. enjoys 
these American books. 

Saturday, August 2.?>ih. 

The wind has gone down and A. went 
out sailing. Cunninghame played golf. 
Mrs Housman spent the day at a convent 
which is some miles off, and she did not 
come down to dinner. 

Lady Jarvis took me into the town in 
the morning, and in the afternoon we 
went for a drive. We had no reading in 
the evening. 

Sunday, August 2<)th. 

General York did not come to luncheon 
after all, he wrote a note excusing him- 
II.8 



Passing By 



self. Mrs Housman went to Mass in the 
morning. A. and Cunninghame played 
golf. Mrs Housman read out loud a 
story by Kipling after dinner. I wonder 
what an E.P. tent means. 



IIQ 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

Grey Farm, Careis Bay, 
August 2,0th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

The weather has been too 
awful, but now, thank heaven, it is fine 
again. George was obHged to put off 
going to Plymouth by sea as it was too 
rough. The Shamiers have put me off. 
They can't have the Lodge that was 
going to be lent to them, so they won't go 
to Scotland at all this year. This changes 
all my plans. Mrs Housman asked me to 
stay on another week here, and I am 
going to as there is now no hurry to 
get to Edith's. I shall then go back to 
Worsel for three days if they can have 
me, and then stay with Edith for the rest 
of my holiday. She has got the whole 
family there at this moment, so I shall 
enjoy going there later better. I shall be 
back in London the first week in October. 
120 



Passing By 



There is a charming old man here who 
plays golf with me, General York. His 
wife, who was huffy because Mrs Housman 
" called," paid a call in state this afternoon. 
She came in a barouche with an Indian 
servant on the box. She is organising 
a bazaar and asked Lady Jarvis to help at 
her stall. She said the bazaar was in the 
cause of the Church ; she did not ask Mrs 
Housman. She stayed seven minutes by 
the clock and refused tea, which she said 
she never took as it was trying for the 
nerves. She was dressed in black jet, 
and brought with her a small Pomeranian 
dog. She said she and her husband had 
lived here eight years and that it used to 
be a charming place when they discovered 
it. 

Write to me here and then to Edith's, 
but not to Worsel as that is uncertain. 
Yours, 

G. 



121 



From the Diary of Godfrey Meilor 

Monday, August 2,'^th. 

I am glad to say Cunninghame has put 
off going for a week. Mrs York called 
this afternoon. I was introduced to her, 
but she addressed no remark to me. 

Tuesday, August 2,'ist. 

A. has gone away for a night as he is 
staying with someone in the neighbour- 
hood. Mrs Housman took Cunninghame 
to the Lizard, which he had not yet seen. 
Lady Jarvis and I spent a lazy day in the 
garden and on the cliffs. It is extremely 
hot. 

Wednesday , September ist. 

Cunninghame and A. played golf with 
General York and suggested his coming 
back to tea, but he declined with much 
embarrassment. Mrs Housman returned 
Mrs York's visit, but she was not at home. 
Mrs Housman sang after dinner. A. 
does not care for German music, which 

122 



Passing By 



limits the programme ; he is fond, however, 
of old English songs. 

Thursday, Septemher 2nd. 

A beautiful day for sailing, so they said. 
A. took Mrs Housman for a sail. 

Friday, September 7,rd. 

I find A.'s spirits a little boisterous at 
times. He took us out fishing this after- 
noon. After dinner he insisted on Mrs 
Housman playing some American coon 
songs. 

Saturday, September /^th. 

Housman arrived unexpectedly with Car- 
rington-Smith this afternoon. Carrington- 
Smith seems depressed about his coming 
divorce. Mrs Housman was out sailing 
with A. and they did not come back until 
just before dinner. Carrington-Smith is 
a great expert on boxing and gave us a 
sparring exhibition after dinner. That is 
to say, he explained at great length the 
nature of a straight left, and upset some 
of the furniture in so doing. After dinner 
123 



Passing By 



Housman, Carrington- Smith, Cunning- 
hame and Lady Jarvis played Bridge. 

Sunday, September $th. 

Housman played golf and met General 
York, knowing nothing of what had 
occurred, and asked him and Mrs York 
to luncheon. The General was much 
embarrassed and said his wife was an 
invalid. Housman then asked him to 
come by himself The General stammered 
and said they were having luncheon out. 
But Housman would take no refusal and 
asked them to dinner. The General said 
they didn't dine out on Sundays! His 

wife And then he got dreadfully 

confused, and Cunninghame came to the 
rescue and said Housman had forgotten 
we were dining on board the yacht, which 
we were of course not doing. 

Cunninghame leaves, I regret to say, 
to-morrow. 



124 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Grey Farm, Carbis Bay, 
Sunday, September $th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I leave to-morrow for 
Worsel. I am only stopping here a week. 
Then I go on to Edith's where I shall 
stay to the end of the month. Most of 
the family have gone. I spent a whole 
day with Mrs Housman on Tuesday and 
w^ went to the Lizard. This is the first 
time I have had a real talk alone with her 
since I have been here. We were talking 
about my plans and I said that I had been 
going to stay with the Shamiers. She said : 
" Oh yes," and paused a moment and then 
said : " She's a charming woman, isn't 
she ? " I could see she knew. Later on 
she talked of George and said how nice 
Mrs Campion was and what a good 
thing it would be if George married. I 
said: "Yes, what a good thing. It was 
125 



Passing By 



the greatest mistake his not marrying. " 
Upon which she said : " Do you think he 
will ? " And then in a flash I knew that 
Lady Jarvis had been quite right and I 
had been utterly wrong. What an idiot 
I have been ! It must have been quite 
obvious to a baby the whole time ! I 
can't tell you how I mind it. I think it is 
the greatest pity and really too awful ! 
What are we to do ? That's just it — one 
can do nothing : there is nothing to be done, 
absolutely nothing. Of course Godfrey 
Mellor must have seen it clearly the whole 
time. I am sure he is miserable. It is 
all the greatest pity and how I can have 
been so blind, I don't know, not that it 
would have made any difference if I hadn't 
been. Housman, of course, sees nothing 
and has begged George to stay on. As 
a matter of fact he (George) is going away 
quite soon as he has to sail his yacht back 
and he is stopping somewhere on the way. 
He. will be back in London in October. 
It is all very depressing and I am quite 

126 



Pass ing B y 



glad to be going. Lady Jarvis has said 
nothing to me but I can see that she sees 
that I see. Godfrey Mellor is staying on. 
Housman leaves to-morrow. Write to 
me at Edith's. 

Yrs. 

G. 



127 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, September 6th. 

Housman and Cunninghame both left 
this morning. A. goes away on Wed- 
nesday. A stormy day — ■ too rough 
for sailing. Carrington-Smith, who is 
remaining on, played golf with A. 

Tuesday, September ifk. 

Mrs Housman and A. went out for a 
sail. I went for a walk with Lady Jarvis. 
Carrington-Smith played golf: after dinner 
he sang Fll sing thee songs of Arahy, 
Mrs Housman accompanied him : he has 
a tenor voice. 

Wednesday, September ith. 

A. left in his yacht this morning. Lady 
Jarvis took Carrington-Smith for a walk. 
I went out with Mrs Housman. She 
suggested finishing Consuelo : I told her 
I had already finished it. Miss Housman 
arrives on Saturday. 

128 



Passing By 



Thursday, September gth. 

Mrs Housman received a telegram from 
Mrs Baines, who is in the neighbourhood 
with her husband, proposing themselves. 
Mrs Housman has asked them to stay. 
They will arrive to-morrow. Carrington- 
Smith sang Tosti's Good-bye after dinner. 

I went for a walk with Mrs Housman 
in the afternoon. She said she likes 
Cunninghame particularly. She said that 
A. ought to marry. 

Friday, September loth. 

A rainy day, we remained indoors. 
Carrington-Smith went for a walk by 
himself. Mr and Mrs Baines arrived in 
the afternoon. After dinner they played 
bridge : Lady Jarvis, Carrington-Smith 
and Mr and Mrs Baines. Mrs Baines 
said she greatly admired the works of 
Mrs Ella Wheeler Wilcox. "She is," 
she said, "a true poet, or perhaps I should 
say a true poetess." She said theatrical 
performances affected her so much that 
she could seldom "sit out a piece." She 
I 129 



Passing By 



had been obliged to take to her bed after 
seeing The Only Way. Carrington-Smith 
said he preferred a prize fight to any play. 
Mr Baines did not care for the English 
stage, but he always went to a French 
play when there was one to see in London : 
he had greatly admired Sarah Bernhardt 
in old days. His wife, he pensively 
reminded us, had once been taken for 
her. Mrs Baines protested and said that 
it was in the days when Sarah Bernhardt 
was quite thin. " Such a beautiful voice," 
she said. " Quite the human violin in 
those days. Now, of course, she rants 
and appears in such dreadful plays — so 
violent." 
Saturday, September nth. 

Mr and Mrs Baines left this morning. 
Miss Housman arrived in the afternoon. 
Carrington-Smith played golf and I went 
out with Mrs Housman. After dinner 
Miss Housman suggested Bridge, but 
there were only three players, as Mrs 
Housman does not play. Miss Housman 
130 



Passing By 



said I must play. I said I did not know 
the rules. She said she would teach me. 
I played — I was her partner. She 
became excited over what is called the 
"double ruff," a point I have not yet 
grasped. Carrington-Smith, who is an 
excellent player, explained me the rules 
with great patience. 

Sunday, September izth. 

Mrs Housman went to Mass. In the 
afternoon she went for a walk with Miss 
Housman. We played Bridge again after 
dinner. Miss Housman was annoyed with 
me as I neglected to finesse. 

Monday, September \7^tK. 

The last week of my holiday. It 
becomes finer and warmer every day. 
Miss Housman said she must see the Land's 
End. Mrs Housman took her there. I 
went for a walk with Lady Jarvis in the 
evening. More Bridge after dinner : I 
revoked, but my partner, Carrington- 
Smith, was most amiable about it. 
131 



Pass ing By 



Tuesday, September i^th. 

Miss Housman took Mrs Housman into 
the town as she said she needed help with 
her shopping : she did not make many- 
purchases. As far as I understood, only 
two yards of silk. I went out with 
Carrington-Smith in theafternoon. Bridge 
in the evening — I do not yet understand 
the "double ruff." 

Wednesday, September i$tk. 

We all went to the Lizard in two 
carriages. Miss Housman said she must 
see the Lizard. She, Mrs Housman and 
myself went in one carriage ; Lady Jarvis 
and Carrington-Smith in the other. Bridge 
in the evening ; Miss Housman lost, which 
annoyed her. 

Thursday, September i6th. 

A wet day. Miss Housman practised 
all the morning (Fantasia in C sharp 
minor, Chopin) ; her touch is very metallic. 
We played Bridge in the afternoon after 
tea, as well as after dinner. 
132 



Passing By 



Friday, September iith. 

My last day. It cleared up. We all 
went out on to the beach. Miss Housman 
read aloud a novel, which she had already 
begun and which we will certainly not 
have time to finish, called Queed, by an 
American author. After dinner we played 
Bridge. 

Saturday, September i^ih. 

Arrived at Gray's Inn. Travelled up 
with Carrington-Smith. 

Sunday, October yd. Gray's Inn. 

Stayed at home in the morning and 
read the Sunday newspapers. In the 
afternoon I went for a walk in Kensington 
Gardens. 

Monday, October A,th. 

A. and Cunninghame returned to the 
office. A. told us that his sister, Mrs 
Campion, had invited both of us to stay 
with her next Saturday at her house in 
Oxfordshire. We have both accepted, 
133 



Passing By 



Tuesday, October ^th. 

Cunninghame asked me to dinner. 
We dined at his flat and sat up talking 
until nearly one o'clock in the morning. 
I had a letter from Lady Jarvis telling me 
she has returned to London and inviting 
me to visit her in Mansfield Street when- 
ever I felt inclined. 

Wednesday, October 6tk. 

Dined with A. at his Club. He told me 
that Mrs Housman arrives to-morrow ; he 
met Housman in the street this morning. 

Thursday, October "jib. 

I called on Lady Jarvis late this even- 
ing and found her at home. She said 
Cornwall had had a beneficial effect on 
Mrs Housman's health. 1 stayed talking 
till nearly seven. 

Friday, October ith. 

Received a note from Mrs Housman 

asking me to dine there next Tuesday. 

Went to a concert with Lady Jarvis at 

the Queen's Hall : the programme was 

134 



Passing B if 



uninteresting, but I enjoyed my evening 
nevertheless. 

Saturday, October ^th. Wraxted Priory, Oxfordshire. 
I travelled down with A. and Cunning- 
hame and found a party consisting, besides 
ourselves, of Mrs Campion and her three 
children, Fraulein Brandes, the governess. 
Miss Macdonald, Cunninghame's cousin, 
and a Miss Wray. I sat next to Mrs 
Campion at dinner : she said she hoped 
they would go to Florence again next 
Easter. After dinner we played Conse- 
quences and the letter game. 

Sunday, October xoth. 

Everyone went to church this morning 
except Cunninghame and myself. At 
luncheon I sat next to Fraulein Brandes. 
She said Shakespeare was badly performed 
in England and that she preferred the 
German translation of the plays to the 
original ; she considered it superior. 
"Aberdas," she added, "will kein Englander 
gestehen." She was shocked to hear I had 
135 



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never read Shakespeare's plays. I told 
her I had no taste for verse. She said 
this vi^as unglaublich. I told her I was 
fond of German music. In the afternoon 
Mrs Campion took me for a walk. 
Cunninghame went out with his cousin. 
At dinner I sat next to Miss Wray. I 
found her most agreeable. She has 
travelled a great deal and seems to have 
a real appreciation of classical music. 



136 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, October nth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

We had a delightful Sun- 
day at Mrs Campion's. A lovely old 
house not very far from Oxford : grey stone 
walls, a hall with the walls left bare and 
a few bits of good tapestry and another 
panelled room. Freda was there, and 
Lavinia Wray, who has just come back 
from South America. She is looking so 
well, her lovely skin whiter than ever 
and those huge eyes — George liked her 
enormously. He had never met her 
before. How wonderful it would be if 
that could come off. It would be exactly 
right. Of course I am sure Mrs Campion 
wants it and is not likely to do anything 
stupid. I shall get Edith to help later if 
possible. She is still in the country now. 
Mrs Housman has come back to London 
137 



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and I hear from Randall that Housman is 
mad -about Mrs Park. I shall go and see 
her next week. George is in goo4 spirits. 
When I got back I couldn't bear the sight 
of my flat with those glaring curtains and 
I have committed the great extravagance 
of changing them. The new ones are 
coming next week. I hope they will be 
a success as I , .shan't be able to change 
them again. 

Yrs. 

G. 



138 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, October nth. 
Dined at the Club. 

Tuesday, October 12th. 

Had luncheon with Cunninghame to 
meet his sister, Mrs Howard. She is 
older than he is and less communicative. 
Her husband is on the Stock Exchange. 
She was only in London for the day but 
she said she hoped I would come and see 
her when she settled in London later. 
She has a house in Chester Street. 

Wednesday, October i^th. 

Dined with the Housmans last night. 
A. was there, Miss Housman and Mrs 
Park. I sat next to Mrs Housman. 
Mrs Park contradicted A. when he 
mentioned music and said something 
about the gross ignorance of English 
amateurs. After dinner she asked Miss 
Housman to accompany her. She sang 
some operatic airs and Gounod's Ave 
139 



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Maria. I drove home with A., who told 
me he could not bear Mrs Park. 

Thursday, October i^ih. 

I am just back from dining with Lady 
Jarvis. A. was there, Miss Wray and 
several other people. Lady Jarvis asked 
me if I had seen the Housmans. I told 
her about my dinner there. She said that 
Mrs Park was an intolerable woman : she 
knew her when she was a singer and she 
said she had never met anyone who gave 
herself such airs. Walked home with 
Cunninghame, who was dining there too. 
He is dining with the Housmans on 
Sunday. The Carrington-Smith divorce 
case is in the newspapers. 

Friday, October i^fh. 

Dined at the Club. 

Mrs Carrington-Smith has got her 
divorce. 

Saturday, October i6th. 

Spent the day at Woking with Solway. 
He has finished his Sonata. 
140 



Pass ing By 



Sunday, October iith, 

I went to see Mrs Housman this after- 
noon and found her at home. After I had 
been there about five minutes a great 
many visitors arrived and I left. 



141 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

Halkin Street, 
Sunday, October iith. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I am having a quiet 
Sunday in London. George is staying 
with the Prime Minister. I dined last 
night with the Housmans. Mrs Park 
was there, Randall and Miss Housman. 
Mrs Park is incredible : a magnificent 
figure, hair dyed a rich bronze with 
flaming high lights, dressed in a flowing 
robe of peach-coloured satin with a neck- 
lace of fire-opals and a large diamond lyre 
on her shoulder ; the semi-royal manner 
of an ex- Prima Donna, at the same time 
making it quite clear that she no longer 
mixed with the artistic world — she had 
soared to the top of it and out of it. She 
said : " Years ago when 1 was at Balmoral 
the dear Queen told me she reminded 
me of Grisi." I said: "1 suppose you 
142 



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mean you reminded her of Grisi," and she 
drew herself up stiffly and said she meant 
what she said. She told me that Madame 
Cosima had implored her to sing at 
Bayreuth but of course she couldn't think 
of doing- such a thingr. Poor Theodore 
(her late husband) hated Wagner. After 
dinner she sang, Miss Housman accom- 
panied her, a song out of Cavalleria. 
They had a fierce argument about the 
time. Mrs Park said she was playing too 
fast, which she was, although I don't 
believe Mrs Park knew this. Miss Sarah 
stuck to her guns and played, if anything, 
faster. Mrs Park then refused to sing. 
Housman asked his wife to accompany 
her, which Mrs Housman most good- 
naturedly said she would be delighted to 
do. This was more than Miss Housman 
could bear — she said Mrs Housman was 
playing too slow and Mrs Park agreed. 
Miss Housman tore Mrs Housman from 
the piano and sat there herself, and the 
song was sung to the end. All seemed to 
143 



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be peaceable but Miss Housman unfortun- 
ately couldn't refrain from saying that 
Mascagni's music was rubbish, upon which 
Mrs Park burst into a furious passion. 
Who was Miss Housman to judge? she 
screamed. Miss Housman said she had 
studied music for five years under the 
best musicians in the world at Leipzig. 
Mrs Park said she had sung to Patti, who 
had said she was the only English artist 
worthy of the name of "artist." Miss 
Housman, in a sardonic voice, said that 
Patti was so kind. Mrs Park said that 
the arrogance of amateurs knew no bounds. 
She had sung before the most critical 
public in two continents. Miss Housman 
said she did not consider the Americans 
a critical public. Mrs Park then said she 
would never sing again in the Housmans' 
house as long as she lived, not if every- 
one went down on their knees to her. 
Housman became greatly agitated and 
fussed about the room, saying : " Never 
mind, never mind ; we are all very tired 
144 



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to-night, it's the east wind." Mrs Park 
said she always sang her best in an east 
wind. I caught Mrs Housman's eye and 
we were seized with a fit of uncontrollable 
laughter. We laughed till we shook. 
Randall caught it too. This made things 
much worse. Mrs Park said she was 
being insulted and swept out of the room, 
Housman running after her. He came 
back alone gibbering with agitation, and 
Miss Housman then attacked him and 
said of course if Albert (rolling the "r " with 
a rapid guttural) would invite such awful 
people, what could one expect ? Then 
" Bert" got really angry and we all sat in 
dead silence while he and Miss Sarah 
abused each other like pickpockets. 
Then the door opened and Mrs Park 
came back saying she had left her fan 
behind. She took no notice of us but 
disappeared with Housman into the 
Oriental lounge, and there we heard 
spirited skirmishes of talk going on in 
an undertone. Miss Housman sat down 
K 145 



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defiantly at the piano and played, or 
rather banged, the Rapsodie Hongroise. 
When this was over they both came back 
and Housman suggested, with a nervous 
chuckle, that we should all have some 
lemonade. We jumped at the idea and 
the evening ended peaceably enough, but 
Mrs Park ignored Miss Housman, was 
icy towards Mrs Housman, and made all 
her remarks to me and Randall. I then 
left the house. Housman followed me 
nervously to the door and said that Mrs 
Park had the artistic temperament and 
that I mustn't mind, and that it was too 
bad of Sarah to provoke her. 
Yrs. 

G. 
P.S. — I suppose you read about the 
Carrington-Smith case in the newspapers. 
Mrs Housman and I laughed a good deal 
about it when " Bert " wasn't listening, but 
I am very sorry for Eileen. Aren't you.-* 



14b 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, October iZth. 

A. has been staying with the Prime 
Minister. He does not appear to have 
enjoyed himself very much. He asked 
me if I had seen the Housmans lately. 

Tuesday, October igtk. 

A. and I dined with Cunninghame. 
Miss Wray was there, Mrs Howard and 
Lady Jarvis. A. said afterwards that 
Miss Wray was a charming girl — it was 
a pity that she did not marry. 

Wednesday, October 20 tk. 

I called on Mrs Housman late, but she 
was not at home. Housman came out of 
the house as I was standing at the door. 
He asked me to dinner on Sunday. I 
accepted. 

Thursday, October ■zist. 
Dined at the Club. 
147 



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Friday, October i2nd. 

Dined with Mrs Howard. A. was 
there, Cunninghame, Miss Wray, Miss 
Macdonald, and others. Mr Howard is 
half- Irish and very boisterous. I sat next 
to Miss Wray ; she said Mrs Campion 
was the nicest woman she knew. Uncle 
Arthur and Aunt Ruth have come back 
to London and are starting" their Thursday 
evenings. They have asked A. and 
myself to dinner on Thursday week. 

Saturday, October 2T,rd. 

A. has gone to the country to stay with 
a General ; a military party. 

Sunday, October ii,th. 

I had luncheon with Lady Jarvis. She 
told me she did not think Mrs Housman 
would stay long in London, as the London 
winter was bad for her ; she said she 
thought she would most likely go to 
Florence. 

I dined with the Housmans. A strange 
party. Mrs Park was the only person 
148 



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there I had met before. There was a 
South African magnate and his wife, 
a retired Indian official, and a Mr Perry, 
an AustraHan, and his wife, who were 
apparently intimate friends of Mrs Park's, 
at least she called him Tom. I sat next 
to Mrs Perry, who told me that Paris had 
been a disappointment to her. She told 
me, also, that the women in England 
were, according to Australian standards, 
dowdy. On the other side of me was 
Lady Bowles, the wife of the Indian 
official. She told me she was Mrs Park's 
greatest friend ; she said she. lived at 
Cannes and only spent a few weeks in 
London every .year ; they were staying at 
the Hyde Park Hotel. She found London 
dreadfully slow : she was accustomed, she 
said, always to smoke between the courses 
at dinner, and not to do so was a great 
deprivation. She also said she was a 
great gambler and was used to gambling 
all night. " Of course I find this exhaust- 
ing," she said ; "and I always tell Harold 
149 



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I shall take to cocaine some day." 
Housman seemed rather embarrassed. 
Miss Housman was not there. After 
dinner Lady Bowles suggested a game of 
Poker. They all played except Mrs 
Housman and they were still playing 
when I left. 

Monday, October 2^th. 

I had luncheon with Cunninghame at 
his Club. He said A. had come back 
from the country in a very bad temper 
and had said that nothing would induce 
him to pay a visit anywhere again. 
Tuesday, October zdth. 

Went to a concert at the Queen's Hall. 
Saw the Housmans in the distance, and to 
my astonishment I met A. in the interval. 
He said he had been dragged there by his 
sister. 1 met them again as we were 
going out. A. asked me to dinner on 
Friday. 
Wednesday, October I'^th. 

Had luncheon with A. He seems in 
high spirits. He told me that his sister 
150 



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had come up from London for the winter 
— she had taken a house in Pont Street. 
He said the Housmans and Cunninghame 
were dining on Friday and it would be 
a Cornwall party. 

Thursday, October lith. 

Dined with Aunt Ruth — a large political 
dinner ; the F.O. largely represented, as 
usual. A. was there and sat next to the 
wife of the French military attache, and 
on the other side of Aunt Ruth. I am 
afraid he found the dinner tedious, but 
after dinner he talked to Miss Wray : I 
sat next to her at dinner. She asked me 
if I had known A. long. She said he was 
so like his sister. Uncle Arthur has not 
yet grasped I am working in a public 
office. He asked me how I was getting 
on in the city. 

Friday, October iijth. 

Dined with A. at his flat. Mr and 
Mrs Housman, Lady Jarvis, Miss Wray, 
Cunninghame and Miss Macdonald, Mrs 
151 



Pass ing B y 



Campion was coming but had been obliged 
to go down to the country. Mrs Housman 
said she was very likely going abroad for 
the winter. 

Saturday, October ^oth. 

A. was engaged to go somewhere in 
the country but he has put off going. He 
left a telegram at the office to his hostess 
but forgot to fill in the address. Tuke 
brought it to me. It was to Mrs Legget, 
Miss Wray's aunt. She is not in Who's 
Who, but I rang up Lady Jarvis on the 
telephone and she knew. 

Sunday, October ^ist. 

I went to call on Mrs Housman but she 
'vas not at home. 



152 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
' Monday, November ist. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I spent Sunday in London 
and had luncheon with Lady Jarvis. She 
told me the Housman manage was all 
upside down owing to Mrs Park, who 
refused to let Housman see any of his old 
friends, insulted them all, and quarrelled 
every day with Miss Housman, and in- 
sisted on her friends being asked nightly 
to dinner — and what friends ! Fast 
colonials. Lady Jarvis says, and the 
dregs of the Riviera ! Poor Mrs Housman 
is utterly worn out. Mrs Park behaves 
exactly as if it were her house, orders the 
servants about, complains of the food, and 
is always there ! The result is Mrs 
Housman has gone to Florence ; she was 
to leave this morning and she is going to 
stay there the whole winter. I did not 
153 



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know how George would take this bit of 
news, but he knew already and seems, 
oddly enough, in good spirits ! Edith 
thinks he is fond of Lavinia Wray and 
that he will end by marrying her, but 
Lady Jarvis does not agree, although she 
said that his sister thinks the same thing. 
They can't understand his being in such 
spirits otherwise. Last Friday we all had 
dinner at George's flat. After dinner, so 
Lady Jarvis told me, before we came out 
of the dining-room they were playing the 
game of saying who you could marry and 
who you couldn't, and after mentioning 
a lot of people, Godfrey Mellor among 
others, Freda Macdonald said : " Georee." 
Lady Jarvis and Freda said : " Oh yes ; 
we could marry him." Mrs Housman 
and Lavinia Wray said : " No — quite im- 
possible." 

Except Lady Jarvis, they are all extra- 
ordinarily optimistic about George and 
think that there is nothing in the Housman 
thing and that it will pass off and he will 
154 



Passing B // 



marry Lavinia. I am sure they are wrong, 
and I am more depressed about it than 
words can say. Lavinia is fond of him, 
too, and that is all that has been gained. 
There are now three miserable people, 
instead of two ! No letter from you this 
week, but I hope to get one to-morrow. 
Yrs. 

G. 



155 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, November \st. Gray's Inn. 

Received a letter from Mrs Housman 
saying that she was leaving for Florence 
this morning, She was sorry not to have 
seen me yesterday. She is going to stay 
in Florence until the end of May. 

Tuesday, November 2nd. 

Had dinner with A. alone at his flat. 
He was in low spirits and said that he 
hates official life. 

Tuesday, December 21st. 

My Christmas holidays begin to-morrow. 
I am going to Aunt Ruth's. Cunninghame 
is staying with Lady Jarvis. A. said he 
would most probably spend Christmas 
with his sister, but he was not sure. 

Thursday, December 2yd. 

Received a telegram from Aunt Ruth 
saying the party was put off as Uncle 
Arthur has got bronchitis. A telegram 
156 



Passing By 

arrived for A. at the office this morning. 
I telephoned to Tuke at his flat to know 
where to forward it. Tuke said A.'s 
address for the next week would be Hotel 
Grande Bretagne, Florence. 

Christmas Day. 

Dined at the Club. 

Tuesday, December zSik. 

Tuke telephoned to say not to forward 
any more letters to A. He was on his 
way home. 

Saturday, January ^th, 1910. 

Received a letter from A. from his 
sister's house. He is coming up next 
week. ■ Riley has written to me from 
Paris to know whether I could put him 
up next month. He is going to spend 
a month in London. I have told him I 
would be glad of his company. 



157 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

ROSEDALE, 

Saturday, January ist, 1910. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have been staying with 
Lady Jarvis for Christmas. There is a 
very small party, only Jane Vaughan and 
Winchester Hill besides myself. Just 
before I came down here Housman asked 
me to dine with him at the Carlton. I 
went and he was alone. After talking 
nervously on ordinary topics, he told me 
he did not know what to do. It gradually 
came out that Mrs Park is making his 
life quite unbearable. She won't let him 
see any of his friends ; she quarrels with 
Sarah, and has the most violent scenes ; 
she makes scenes every day, and not long 
ago, he said, broke a fine piece of Venetian 
glass. He is miserable ; he says he can't 
call his soul his own. I told Lady Jarvis 
all about this and she said the only thing 
158 



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to be done would be for Housman to get 
Mrs Housman to come back. She has 
been away two months, and if she comes 
back at the end of the month the worst 
of the winter will be over. She is very 
much worried about Mrs Housman and 
says this is most unfortunate, as it would 
be better really in every way if she were 
to stay out there. You see Edith and 
Mrs Campion and Freda all think that 
it is only a passing fancy of George's and 
that he will get over it and marry Lavinia 
Wray! Lady Jarvis says this is wrong; 
she knows they are wrong. She thinks 
George and Mrs Housman are desperately 
in love with each other and she doesn't 
know how it will end. She is so worried 
that she nearly went out to Florence last 
week. She had heard from Mrs Housman 
quite lately. She said in her last letter 
that George had suggested coming out to 
Florence for Christmas with Mrs Campion. 
She had told him that she would most 
likely not be in Florence as the Albertis 
159 



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had asked her to spend Christmas with 
them at Ravenna ; she was not sure, 
however, whether she would go or not. 
Whether George went or not, I don't 
know. He told me he was going to 
spend Christmas with Mrs Campion at 
the Priory. 

I am going back to London at the end 
of next week. 

Yrs. 

G. 

London, 
Wednesday, January IXth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I came back to London 
on Monday. I asked Housman to dinner 
with me and told him that he had much 
better get Mrs Housman back. He said 
he quite agreed that it was the only thing 
to do. Things were now worse than ever. 
Mrs Park was impossible. Poor little 
" Bert " ! The worst of it is, that directly 
this is over there is quite certain to be 
someone else and perhaps someone worse. 
1 60 



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However, let us hope for the best. 
George came to the office yesterday. He 
said he had been staying with his sister ; 
he said nothing about Florence. ^ He ia 
in low spirits. 

I shall certainly go abroad at Easter 
and spend a few days in Paris in any 
case. Lady Jarvis is back in London, and 
the Shamiers. I dined there last night. 
Lavroff was there and Louise is just as 
fond of him as ever. 

Poor Godfrey Mellor is terribly melan- 
choly. He has got a friend staying with 
him now and I don't see much of him. 
Yrs. 

G. 



i6i 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Tuesday, February i^th, 19 lo. 

Alfred Riley ari'ived last night. He is 
now professor at Shelborough University 
and is editing Propertius. He has come 
to consult some books at the British 
Museum. 

Wednesday, February i6th. 

Sat up very late last night talking with 
Riley. He was amused by a conversation 
he had overheard at a Club. Two men 
were talking about someone who had 
become a Roman Catholic. Someone he 
didn't know. One of them said to the 
other that it was a very pleasant solution 
if you could do it. The other one said : 
" Certainly ; no bother, no responsibility 
. . . everything settled for you." I said 
that I did think the Confessional must be 
the negation of responsibility. Riley said 
that by becoming a Catholic you became 
responsible for all your actions. He said 
162 



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that before he was a Catholic he felt no 
responsibility at all to anything or anyone, 
but that the moment you were a Catholic 
everything you did and said counted. 
Every time you went to Confession you 
acknowledged and confirmed your assump- 
tion of responsibility. I mentioned a 
common friend of ours, O'Neil, who had 
been a Catholic all his life and who, though 
he was married, had never ceased to live 
with a Miss Silvia Thorpe, whom I had 
known as an artist. He didn't hide it, 
neither did she. Riley said that this 
proved his point. O'Neil never dreamt 
of going to Confession ; he knew it would 
be useless, because he had no intention of 
giving up Miss Thorpe, and that being 
so, he knew he couldn't get Absolution. 
It was a sacrifice to him, a very great 
sacrifice, as he Was a believing Catholic. 
"That shows," he went on, "that you 
don't understand how the thing works. 
You and all Protestants think that one 
can stroll into the Confessional, wipe the 
163 



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slate olean and go on with what you are 
doing, however bad it is, with the implied 
sanction of the Church. But the fact 
remains that practising Catholics who 
are living in a way which the Church 
condemned do not go to Confession. 
Going to Confession entails facing re- 
sponsibility instead of evading it." He 
said that if what I thought was true, 
people like O'Neil would go to Confes- 
sion. I must face the fact that he did 
not go to Confession and was extremely 
unhappy on that account. He would 
like to go to the Sacraments but he had 
made this great sacrifice with his eyes 
open. I said that I had always thought 
the Church was lax about such matters. 
He said individuals might be lax. The 
Church was not responsible for the conduct 
of individuals, but the rule of the Church 
was absolutely uncompromising. I said 
O'Neil might be an extreme case, but 
supposing a devout Catholic married 
woman had a great man friend, supposing 
164 



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he was very much in love with her, but 
she was a virtuous woman, faithful to her 
husband, she could go on seeing the other 
man as much as she liked ? Would the 
Church forbid it? Riley said the Church 
would forbid sin. Any priest would tell 
her that if she thought it might lead to 
sin, she must cut it out of her life. I said 
that was quite clear, but he was not 
telling me what I wanted to know. He 
said : " What is it that you want to know ? " 
I said I must give it up. I couldn't put 
it into words. I said Roman Catholics 
were always so matter-of-fact. They 
handed one opinions and ideas like choco- 
lates wrapped up in silver paper. He 
said : " You think that, because you would 
sooner walk naked in the streets than 
think things out, or call things by their 
names. You like leaving them vague. 
' Le vague,' Renan said, ' est pire que le 
faux.' " 

I said, going back to the question of 
responsibility, that I had often heard 
i65 



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Catholics themselves complain of the want 
of responsibility of Catholics. Riley said 
that might very well be ; they might lack 
a sense of responsibility, just as they 
might lack a sense of charity or honesty. 
" You think," he said, "that the Church 
is perpetually arranging comfortable com- 
promises. Nothing is further from the 
truth. Nothing is harder on the individual 
than certain of the commandments of the 
Church with regfard to marriage : for 
instance, divorce, and the bearing of 
children. Some of the Church's views 
were just as hard on the individual as it 
was hard on a man, who is going to catch 
a train to see his dying child, to be delayed 
by a policeman holding up the traffic, but 
in order to make traffic possible, you had 
to have a policeman, and the individual 
couldn't complain however much he might 
suffer. 

" I know a much harder case than 
O'Neil's," he said : " a colleague of mine 
who is married and has been completely 
i66 



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neglected by his wife. On the other hand, 
he has been looked after devotedly for 
years by another woman, who nursed him 
when he was ill and saved his life. He 
wants to become a Catholic, but he knows 
quite well that the Church will not receive 
him unless he were to give up this woman, 
whom he adores, and go back to his 
wife, who is indifferent to him. What 
you don't understand," he said, "is that 
the Church is not an air cushion but a 
rock." 

He said I accused the Church of being 
lax, but many people that he knew found 
fault with what they called the hardness 
of the Church. But as a matter of fact 
they had generally to admit that as far as 
the human race was concerned the Church 
in such matters of morals was always right. 
He cited instances of what the Church was 
right in condemning. I said that one 
did not need to be Roman Catholic to 
know that immorality was bad for the 
State, and that vice was noxious to the 
167 



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individual. The ordinary laymen reach 
the same conclusions merely by common- 
sense. 

Riley said there were only two points 
of view in the world : the Catholic point 
of view or the non-Catholic point of view. 
All so-called religions which I could 
mention, including my layman's common- 
sense view, were either lopped-off branches 
of Catholicism or shadows of it, or a blind 
aspiration towards it, or a misguided 
parallel of it, as of a train that had gone 
off the rails, or a travesty of it, sometimes 
serious, and sometimes grotesque : a dis- 
tortion. The other point of view was the 
materialist point of view, which he could 
perfectly well understand anyone holding. 
It depends, he said, whether you think 
human life is casual or divine. 

I said I could quite well conceive a phil- 
osophy which would be neither materialist 
nor Catholic. He quoted Dr Johnson about 
everyone having a right to his opinion, and 
martyrdom being the test. Catholicism, 
1 68 



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he said, had survived the test ; would my 
philosophy ? 

As far as I was concerned I admitted 
that 1 held no opinion for which I was 
ready to go to the stake, except, possibly, 
that Jane Eyre was an interesting book. 

Monday, February 21st. 

I heard from Mrs Housman this morn- 
ing. She returns to-morrow. 

Saturday, February %f)th. 

Called on Mrs Housman, and found 
her in. Housman was there also. They 
asked me to dinner next Monday. 

Sunday, February 2'jth. Rosedale. 

I am staying with Lady Jarvis. There 
is no one else. Lady Jarvis said she 
was glad Mrs Housman had returned to 
London. 



169 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Tuesday, March isi. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I dined with the Housmans 
last night. Only myself, Miss Sarah, 
Lady Jarvis, and Godfrey Mellor. Every- 
thing as it used to be. Carrington-Smith 
came in after dinner. He has not been 
inside the house for months. I don't 
know what Mrs Housman did nor how it 
was done, but it was done, and done most 
successfully and quickly! She only came 
back a week ago. "Bert" looks quite 
different and is perfectly radiant. 

George, I gather, hasn't seen her. 
They asked him to dinner last night, but 
he had an official dinner and couldn't 
come. He asked me whether I had seen 
her. He said he had been there several 
times, but she had always been out. He 
is still most depressed and goes nowhere 
170 



Passing By 



unless he is absolutely obliged to. The 
Housmans have asked me to spend Easter 
at their villa. Lady Jarvis is going, and 
Godfrey ; and Housman told me he was 
going to ask George. I am going and I 
shall stop two or three days in Paris on 
the way. 

Lavinia Wray has gone to the south of 
France with her aunt. The Shamiers 
are going to Paris next week. They will 
tell you all the news, not that there is 
much. 

Yrs. 

G. 



171 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, February lith. 

A. told me he had not been to the 
country after all on Saturday. 

Tuesday, March xst. 

Dined with the Housmans, a very agree- 
able dinner. Mrs Housman played and 
sang after dinner : Brahms' Lieder, and 
some Grieg'. 



-&• 



Wednesday, March 2nd. 

A. asked me to luncheon. He told me 
he had been so sorry not to be able to go 
to the Housmans' last night. He said he 
had not seen them yet. He was so busy. 
He asked me how Mrs Housman was and 
whether Florence had done her good. 



& 



Thursday, March ^rd. 

I told Riley I had been reading Renan's 
Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse, and that 
Renan said in this book that there was 
172 



Passing By 

nothing in Catholic dogmas which raised 
in him a contrary opinion ; nothing either 
in the political action or in the spirit of 
the Church, either in the past or in the 
present, that led him to doubt ; but 
directly he studied the " Higher Criticism " 
and German text-books his faith in the 
Church crumbled. I asked Riley what he 
thought of this. He said people treated 
German text-books superstitiously then 
and they still did so now. If German 
text-books dealt with Shakespeare people 
could see at once that they were talking 
nonsense, and that mountains of erudition 
were being built on a false base, a base 
which we knew to be false, because we 
were English ; but when they dealt with 
things more remote, like the Gospels, 
people swallowed what they said, and 
accepted any of their theories as infallible 
dogma. In twenty years' time, he said, 
nobody will care two straws for the 
" Higher Criticism." 

Riley is going away to-morrow 
173 



P as s i ng By 



Friday, March ifth. 

Mrs Housman has written to ask me to 
come and see her on Sunday afternoon if 
I am in London. 

Dined with Cunninghame at a restaur- 
ant and went to the Palace Music Hall 
afterwards. 

Saturday, March c^th. 

A. is much annoyed at having to stay 
with the Foreign Secretary. Dined at the 
Club. 

Sunday, March 6 th. 

Spent the afternoon at Mrs Housman's. 
There was nobody there until Housman 
came in late just when I was going. 
Housman said we must all meet at 
Florence. He said he was going to ask 
A. "But we never see him now," he 
added. He asked me what A. was doing. 
I told him he was staying with the Foreign 
Secretary. He said, of course he was 
right to attend to his official and especially 
to his social duties. He said he would 
ask him to dinner next week. He asked 
174 



Passing By 



me to dine on Wednesday. Mrs Hous- 
man asked me to go to a concert with her 
on Tuesday. 

Monday, March ~ith. 
Dined at the Club. 

Tuesday, March ?>th. 

Went to a concert in Chelsea with 
Mrs Housman, Housman and Miss 
Housman. Solway played, and an excel- 
lent violinist, Miss Bowden ; Beethoven 
Sonata (G Major) and Schubert Quartet 
(D Minor). We all enjoyed the music 
and the playing. During the interval we 
went to see Solway. Housman asked 
him to dinner to-morrow. 

Wednesday, March ^th. 

Dined with the Housmans. Lady 
Jarvis, Mrs Campion, Solway, Cunning- 
hame, Mrs Baines, and A. and Miss 
Housman were there. I sat between 
Lady Jarvis and Mrs Campion. After 
dinner Mrs Housman asked Solway to 
try a song with her, a new English song 
175 



Passing By 



by a boy who has just left the College of 
Music. She sang this and after that she 
sang all the Winterreise. Housman asked 
A. and Mrs Campion to stay with them in 
Florence. Mrs Campion cannot get away 
this Easter. A. accepted the invitation. 

Thursday, March loth. 

Went after dinner to Aunt Ruth's. 
Uncle Arthur is quite restored to health. 
He asked me whether I had been ap- 
pointed to Paris, still thinking that I was 
in the F.O. There were a great many 
people there. Aunt Ruth spoke severely 
about A. and said she heard he only went 
out in the Bohemian world. I said he 
had stayed with the Foreign Secretary 
last week. 

Friday, March nth. 

Dined with Mrs Campion. A. was 
there and the Albertis, who are over in 
England. A. said he was much looking 
forward to Florence. Easter is early this 
year. 

176 



Passing By 



Saiurday, March I2fh. 

A. has gone to Littlehampton. He has 
asked the Housmans and Cunninghame. 
I am going to Woking. 

Sunday, March i^t/i. 

Spent the day with Solway, who played 
Bach. Returned by the late train after 
dinner. 



177 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, March 1/^th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have just come back 
from Littlehampton, where I spent Sunday 
with George and his sister. The Hous- 
mans were asked and Housman went, 
but Mrs Housman was not well. I start 
on Thursday morning and shall be in 
Paris Thursday night and stay there till 
Monday. Let us do something amusing. 
I should like to go to the play one night. 
But you- have probably seen all the best 
things hundreds of times. I am going on 
to Florence on Monday. I don't think 
George has seen much of Mrs Housman. 
I dined there last Wednesday. Mrs 
Housman sang the whole evening so that 
he did not get any talk with her. Godfrey 
has been much more cheerful lately and 
even suggested going to a music-hall 
178 



Passing By 



one night. Mrs Campion is coming to 
Florence too. 

I'm sorry I've been so bad about writing 
lately. I seem to have had no time and 
yet to have done nothing, and there have 
been a series of rather tiresome episodes 
at the ofifice. 

Au revoir till Thursday, 
Yours, 

G. 



179 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, March i\th. 

A. came back from the country in a 
gloomy state of mind. He said it was 
a great mistake to go to the country in 
March and that his party had been a 
failure. He said bachelors should not 
give parties. He asked me to dine with 
him, which 1 did. He says he is leaving 
on Wednesday but will stop two nights in 
Paris. Mrs Campion is travelling with him. 

Tuesday, March i^th. 

Mrs Housman rang up on the telephone 
and told me that a young vocalist was 
dining with them to-morrow night. She 
wanted a few people to hear her. Would 
I come ? Solway was coming. 

Dined with Cunninghame at his Club. 
He says he has never seen A. so depressed. 

Wednesday, March x6th. 

Dined with the Housmans. Miss 
Housman, Solway and Lady Jarvis were 
i8o 



Passing By 



there. The vocalist, a Miss Byfield, did 
not arrive till after dinner. Mrs Housman 
said Miss Byfield was shy and had refused 
to dine at the last moment. After dinner 
she sang some songs from the classical 
composers. She was extremely nervous. 
Mrs Housman and Solway say she has 
promise. Housman said to me confiden- 
tially that he was sure there was no money 
in her. The Housmans leave to-morrow. 
A. left to-day. 

Thursday, March i^th. 

Cunninghame left to-day. I had dinner 
with Lady Jarvis. She asked me to 
travel with her on Saturday. We are 
both stopping Sunday night in Paris. 

Friday, March i&fh. 

Lunched and dined at the Club. Packed 
up my things. Am taking some music 
with me. 

Saturday, March igth. Paris. 

Arrived at the Hotel Saint Romain. 
Had a pleasant journey with Lady Jarvis. 
i8i 



Passing By 



Sunday, March 20th. 

Lady Jarvis took me to see a French 
friend of hers, Madame Sainton. It was 
her day. There was a large crowd of 
men and women in the drawing-room and 
the dining-room, where there was tea, 
Madeira and excellent sandwiches. The 
French take just as much trouble about 
preparing a good tea as they do to write 
or to dress well. I was introduced to 
a famous composer, who talked to me 
technically about boxing. I was obliged 
to confess that I knew nothing of the art. 
It was a pity, I thought, Carrington-Smith 
was not there. I was also introduced to 
a French author, who asked me what was 
the place of Meredith in modern literature, 
what les jeunes thought about him. I 
was obliged to confess I had never read 
one line of Meredith. The French author 
thought I despised him. He asked me : 
" Qu'est qu'on lit en Angleterre main- 
tenant avant de se coucher ? " I said that 
I had no idea what les jeunes read but 
182 



Passing By 



that I personally, for a bedside book, 
preferred Jane Eyre. 

The French author said "Tiens!" He 
then asked me what I thought of Bernard 
Shaw. I had again to confess that I had 
never seen his plays acted. I told him 
that when I had time to spare I went to 
concerts. He said: "Ah! la musique," 
and I felt he was generalising a whole 
movement in young England towards 
music. 

In the evening we went to the Op^ra 
Comique and heard Carmen, which I 
greatly enjoyed. 

Monday, March ■zist. Florence. Villa Fersen. 

We arrived at Florence this morning. 
Cunninghame and A. and Mrs Campion 
were in the same train. The Housmans 
had been there some days already. 

Tuesday, March 22nd. 

Cunninghame, Mrs Housman, A. and 
Mrs Campion went out together. Lady 
Jarvis stayed at home. I went later in 
183 



Passing By 



the morning to the Pitti. In the afternoon 
they went to Fiesole. Housman went to 
call on some friends. Lady Jarvis and I 
went for a walk. 

Wednesday, March 2T,rd. 

We were invited to luncheon by a Mr 
Eugene Lowe, a friend of Lady Jarvis. 
He has a flat in the town on the Pitti 
side of the river. The Housmans and 
Cunninghame and myself went. A. and 
his sister had luncheon with the Albertis. 
Mr Lowe's flat had the peculiarity that 
everything in it had been ingeniously ' 
diverted from its original purpose. The 
only other guest besides ourselves was an 
ex-diplomatist whom I met last year. 

Thursday, March ^\th. 

Lady Jarvis has gone to Venice, where 
she is staying with friends until next 
Monday. While we were sight-seeing this 
morning we met a lady called Mrs 
Fairburn, who claimed to. be an old friend 
of Mrs Housman. Mrs Housman told 
1 84 



Passing By 



me she had met her in America soon after 
she married, but that she had never known 
her well. She asked us all to luncheon 
on Saturday. Mrs Housman accepted 
for herself and Housman. Cunninghame 
and I also accepted. A. and his sister 
were engaged. 

In the afternoon Mrs Housman said 
she was going to hear a Dominican 
preach. Cunninghame and I asked if we 
might accompatny her. A. said it was no 
use his going as he did not understand 
Italian. He was most eloquent. 

Friday (Good Friday), March 2c^th. 

Mrs Housman spent the whole morning 
in church. I went with Cunninghame for 
a long walk. 

Saturday^ March 26th. 

We had luncheon with Mrs Fairburn, 
who has a villa on the Fiesole side. She 
is a widow and always, she says, lives 
abroad ; so much so, she told us, that she 
had difficulty in speaking English correctly. 
185 



Passing By 



She gave us no evidence that she spoke 
any other language with great correctness. 
She told me she was overjoyed at meeting 
Mrs Housman, who was her oldest friend. 
Housman asked her to dinner to-morrow 
night. 

Sunday (Easter Sunday), March ■z'^th. 

I went for a walk by myself. When I 
got back I found various people at the villa 
and escaped to my room. Mrs Fairburn 
came to dinner. When Housman said he 
had been suffering from a headache she 
exclaimed : '' Poveretto !" and said she was 
feeling rather "Moche" herself Looking 
at Mrs Housman, she said to me : " She 
is ravissanie, che bellezza ! E vero? " 



1 86 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

Villa Fersen, Florence, 
Easter Monday, March 2?,th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

We arrived safely and we 
are a very happy party. Lac^y Jarvis 
has gone to Venice to stay with the 
Lumleys, but comes back to-morrow. 
George is, of course, immensely happy at 
being here, but it isn't really satisfactory. 
We haven't seen many people, though we 
have been out to luncheon twice : once 
with that terrible bore, Eugene Lowe, who 
lives in a flat which is the most monstrous 
and absurd thing I have ever seen. The 
walls are hung with Turkish carpets ; the 
chairs and tables with Church vestments ; 
the books turn out to be cigarette lamps 
and cigar cases ; the writing-table is a 
gutted spinet ; and in the middle of the 
room there is a large Venetian well, 
which he uses for cigarette ashes. 
187 



Passing By 



On Saturday we had luncheon with a 
Mrs Fairburn, who professed to be an old 
friend of Mrs Housman's. This turned 
out to be a gross exaggeration. She is 
an affected woman who dresses in what 
are meant to be ultra- French clothes, and 
she speaks broken English on purpose. 
She pretends to be silly, but is far from 
being anything of the kind. I can see 
now that she has got her eye on Housman. 
He was quite charmed by her. She has 
arranged an outing next week. I can see 
that she is going to stick like a leech, and 
she will be, unless I am very much mis- 
taken, much worse than Mrs Park or any 
of them. 

Godfrey Mellor is, I think, liking it, 
but he insists on going out by himself, and 
every day he goes to some gallery with 
a Baedeker, all alone. We always ask 
him to come with us, but it is no use. 
He says he has got things to do in the 
town and off he goes. 

We go about mostly all together except 
i88 



Passing By 



for Godfrey, who always manages to 
elude us. 

I am staying till Monday, then two 
days at Mentone, and then home (via 
Paris, but only for a night). 
Yrs. 

G. 



189 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mel lor 

Monday {Easter Monday), March lith. 

We all had luncheon with the Albertis. 
Lady Jarvis returned in the afternoon 
from Venice. 

Tuesday^ March 2^th. 

Went to the Uffizzi. Housman said he 
was going to spend the day in visits. 

Wednesday, March ^oth. 

Mrs Fairburn came to luncheon. 
Housman said when she had gone that 
she was a very remarkable woman, so 
cultivated, so well read and widely 
travelled. He said she ought to have 
held some great position. She should 
have been an Empress. 

I went to the Pitti in the morning and 
to the Boboli Gardens in the afternoon. 

Thursday, March ^\st. 

The Albertis came to luncheon. 
Baroness Strong and Mrs Fisk called in 
190 



Passing By 



the afternoon. They both asked us all to 
entertainments, but Housman explained 
that we had guests ourselves every day. 
He asked them to dinner on Sunday, but 
they declined. 

Friday, April ist. 

Housman has bought some miniatures 
by a young artist recommended by Mrs 
Fairburn. I do not think they are well 
done, but I am no judge. A. and Mrs 
Campion left. 

Saturday, April 2nd. 

Mrs Housman suggested having 
luncheon in the town and going to Fie- 
sole afterwards, but Housman explained, 
with some embarrassment, that he had 
promised to go with Mrs Fairburn to see 
a studio and to have luncheon with her 
afterwards. 

I leave for London to-night. I am 
going straight through. / 



191 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

Villa Beau Site, Mentone, 
Wednesday, April dth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Just a line to say I shall 
arrive the day after to-morrow, and I can 
only stay one night. Godfrey Mellor left 
Florence on Saturday, and George and 
his sister are on their way back. George 
was very sad at going — I think he feels 
it's the end — Mrs Housman and Lady 
Jarvis are staying on till next Monday, 
and I think Housman also. What I fore- 
saw has happened more quickly than I 
expected. Housman is now the devoted 
slave of Mrs Fairburn, and she has 
announced her intention of coming to 
London in the summer, so this will make 
fresh complications. 

I am having great fun here. The 
Shamiers are here, I am travelling back 
with them. I am sorry not to be able to 
192 



Push I u g B , 



stop more than a night in Paris, but it 
really is impossible. 

I can't dine at the Embassy on Friday, 
I am dining with the Shamiers that night. 
But I will come and see you in the morn- 
ing, and we might do some shops and 
have luncheon together. 
Yrs. 

G. 



193 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, April \th. London. 

Back at the office. Tuke came this 
morning and said A. would not come to 
the office till to-morrow. Cunninghame 
does not return until Friday. 

Tuesday, April s^th. 

A. came to the office. He says that 
Housman has returned to London, but 
that Mrs Housman and Lady Jarvis will 
not be back before next Tuesday. 

Thursday, April lih. 

Dined with Aunt Ruth. I sat next to 
a Mrs de la Poer. She told me she knew 
the Housmans. I said I had been staying 
with them in F"lorence. She said : "I 
suppose Lord Ayton was there." I said 
that A. and his sister always spent Easter 
in Italy. She said : " And he spends the 
summer in Cornwall when Mrs Housman 
is there. It is extraordinary how far 
194 



P <i s -t i n g By 



virtuous Roman Catholics will go." I 
said Mrs Housman was an old friend of 
mine and I preferred not to discuss her. 
She said : "Ah, you are right to be loyal 
to your Chief, but all London knows 
about it." I changed the subject. 

Thursday, April i^th. 

Mrs Housman has put off coming till 
next week. Lady Jarvis spoke to me on 
the telephone. 

Wednesday, April 20th. 

Mrs Housman returned on Monday. 
She has asked me to dinner on Sunday. 

Thursday, April 2?,th. 

A. dined with Aunt Ruth. I went 
there after dinner. Uncle Arthur told us 
he thought A. would go far, but he thinks 
he is in the army. A. is going to the 
country on Saturday. 

Friday, April 2<)th. 

Dined with Lady Jarvis. The Housmans 
were there, and Cunninghame. Cunning- 
hame told me as -we walked home that he 
195 



Passing By 



had seen Housman with a party of people 
at the Carlton last night. Mrs Fairburn 
was among them. He says it is a great 
pity A. does not go out more. It annoys 
people. I told him A. had dined with 
Aunt Ruth last night. 

The Housmans are not staying long in 
London. They have taken the same 
house they had last year on the Thames 
near Staines. Housman can go up every 
day to his office as it is so close to 
London. 

Saturday, April y^th. 

Dined with Cunninghame. He is stay- 
ing in London this Sunday. I asked him 
if he thought A. was likely to marry. He 
said : " Not yet." 

Sunday, May ist. 

Dined with the Housmans. Cunning- 
hame was there, Mrs Fairburn and Miss 
Housman. After dinner Mrs Fairburn 
asked Mrs Housman to sing. She said 
she remembered her singing in America. 
196 



Passing By 



Mrs Housman sang a few Scotch ballads. 
Then Miss Housman played. The 
Housmans are letting their London house 
for the season. They go down to their 
house on the Thames at the end of this 
week. Housman told me 1 must come 
down often. 

Mrs Fairburn was very gushing about 
Mrs Housman's singing. 1 do not think 
she is very musical. 



197 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, May ztid. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have got two pieces of 
news for you. Ralph Logan proposed to 
Lavinia Wray and she has refused him. 
I don't think you know him ; he is in the 
army. But he is Sir Walter Logan's heir 
and will inherit, besides a lot of London 
property, a most beautiful old house in 
Essex, Tudor. Besides that, he is charm- 
ing and has been devoted to her for years. 
This is for you only, of course. He told 
me himself. He has just come back from 
India, where he has been for five years. 
The first thing he did was to fly to 
Lavinia, who has come back from France 
and is now in London. He came to see 
me yesterday afternoon and told me all 
about it. I said something about her 
perhaps changing her mind if he was 
198 



Passing By 



persistent. He said there was no chance 
of this, he felt sure. Lavinia told him she 
would never marry, and she said she was 
not going out after this year. I believe she 
is going to be a nurse. She used to talk 
of this some time ago. The second piece 
of news is that George has been offered 
to be Governor of Madras. That is also 
a secret, of course. I don't know whether 
he will accept it or not. Sir Henry, who 
is George's godfather, is, George tells me, 
tremendously keen about his accepting it. 
I don't think he has been seeing much 
of the Housmans since she has been back. 
She only came back last week. I don't 
think she wants to see him. I dined there 
on Sunday. There was no one there 
except' that extremely tiresome Mrs 
Fairburn, who now does what she likes 
with Housman. They are not going to 
be in London during the summer at all 
and are letting their house. 
Yrs. 

G. 
199 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, May 2nd. 

Mrs Shamier has asked me to dinner 
next Thursday. The invitation surprised 
me as I scarcely know her. 

Tuesday, May yd. 

A. asls:ed me to luncheon to meet Sir 
Henry St Clair. Sir Henry is an old 
man, over seventy, with very strong views 
and a fiery temper. He is his godfather. 
Mrs Campion was there. He lives in 
Scotland and said he had not been to 
London for the last five years. But he 
said he was enjoying himself and meant to 
go to the Derby. He looks surprisingly 
young for his age, not more than sixty. 

JFednesdnv, Mar 4.^/1. 

Went with the Housmans to hear the 
Gilbert & Sullivan Company at Hammer- 
smith : Patience ; we enjoyed it greatly. 
Patience is a classic. The performance 
was adequate. My enjoyment was marred 
200 



Passing By 



by the comments of Mrs Fairburn, who 
went with us. She said she thought it 
vieuxjeit, and preferred Debussy : a foolish 
comparison. 
Thursday, May ^th. 

I dined with the Shamiers. They Hve 
in Upper Brook Street. Mrs Vaughan, 
whom I had met staying with Lady Jarvis, 
was there ; a young Guardsman and a 
Miss Ivy Hollystrop, an American, who, 
I beHeve, is a beauty. 

I sat next to Mrs Shamier. She asked 
me where I had spent Easter. I told her. 
She said she did not know the Housmans, 
but had heard a great deal about her. 
Cunninghame had told her that she sang 
quite divinely. I said that Mrs Housman 
had received a very sound musical educa- 
tion. She asked me what kind of man 
Housman was. I said he was a very 
generous man and did a lot for charities. 
She asked me if 1 had known them a long 
time. I said yes, a long time. She said 
she remembered Walter Bell's picture 

201 



Passing By 



perfectly and if it was at all like her she 
must be a very beautiful woman. I said 
it was generally considered to be a faithful 
portrait. She asked me if the Housmans 
had any children. I said no. Mrs Shamier 
said she would like to meet Mrs Housman 
very much, but she understood they did 
not go out much. I said they were living 
in the country. 

Friday, May dth. 

I dined with Lady Jarvis. She was 
alone. She asked me to spend Sunday 
week with her in the country. She told 
me that Sir Henry St Clair had gone 
back to Scotland, much displeased. He 
has had a difference with A. He is, she 
said, a very dictatorial man. 

Saturday, May 1th. 

Went down to the Housmans' villa on 
the Thames. Mrs Fairburn was there, 
but no other guests. Mrs Fairburn asked 
Mrs Housman to sing after dinner, but 
she declined. 

202 



Passing By 



Sunday, May %th. 

Mrs Fairburn and Housman went out 
on the river. I sat with Mrs Housman 
in the garden. She read aloud from 
Chateaubriand's Rend. It sounded, as 
she read it, very fine. 



203 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, May ^th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

George has refused Madras. 
Sir Henry, who had heard about the offer 
from H., who is an intimate friend of his, 
came up post haste from Scotland. He 
told George he must accept it. George 
said he would think it over, and did so for 
forty-eight hours, then he made up his 
mind, and he settled to refuse it. Sir 
Henry stormed and raved and said it 
would have broken George's father's heart 
if he had been alive, but it was no use. 
George was as obstinate as a mule. He 
said he liked his present work and he did 
not want to leave England. Sir Henry 
went straight back to Scotland. 

The Housmans have left. I spent 
Sunday at Rosedale with Lady Jarvis. 
She says that Mrs Fairburn is always 

204 



Passing By 



there and was staying there this Saturday 
Quite apart from anything else she is a 
very tiresome woman. But she is no fool. 
In Housman she had found a gold-mine. 

The Shamiers are back. I am dining 
there next week. George is depressed. 
He is fond of old Sir H. and doesn't like 
having annoyed him. Sir H. says he will 
never forgive him. I can't understand 
why people can't let other people lead 
their own lives. 

The Compagnie de Cristcd haven't sent 
my little chandelier. If you are passing 
that way could you ask about it ? 
Yrs. 

G. 



205 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, May ()ih. 

I was trying to remember the date a 
French colonel had called at the office, 
and I consulted Tuke. He did not 
remember, but said he would refer to his 
diary. I asked him if he kept a diary 
regularly. He said he had kept his diary 
without missing a day for the last five 
years, but he always burnt it every New 
Year's Day. 

Tuesday, May lath. 

A. asked me to dinner. He said he 
very seldom saw the Housmans now, but 
Housman had asked him to stay there 
on Sunday week. He was going next 
Sunday to Rosedale. He told me he had 
been offered the Governorship of Madras, 
and had refused it. He said he could 
not live in tropical climates. They made 
him ill. He said he hated the summer in 
London. He would have a lot of tedious 
206 



Passing By 



dinners. There were several next week 
he would be obliged to go to. 

Wednesday, May nth. 

I dined with Cunninghame. He talked 
of the Madras appointment, and said it 
was absurd offering it to A. The tropics 
made him ill. He was ill even in Egypt. 
He said Housman had a small flat in 
London, where he stays during the week. 

Thursday, May 12 th. 

Cunninghame dined at Aunt Ruth's. I 
went after dinner. So did A. I could 
see Aunt Ruth was pleased. Uncle 
Arthur confused Cunninghame with A. 
and congratulated C. on his answers in 
the House of Lords. 

Friday, May T-^th. 

Lady Jarvis gave a small musical party, 
which was what I call a large musical 
party. Someone sang Russian songs, 
and Bernard Sachs played Mozart on the 
harpsichord. It would have been very 
enjoyable had there not been such a 
207 



Passing By 



crowd. Housman was there, but not Mrs 
Housman. 

Saturday, May i^th. Rosedale. 

Went down to Staines this afternoon. 
Mrs Housman, A., Cunninghame, Miss 
Macdonald, and Mrs Campion were there. 
Housman was expected and had told Mrs 
Housman he was coming by a later train, 
but he sent a telegram saying he had been 
detained in London. 

Sunday, May i^tk. Rosedale. 

It poured with rain all day, so we sat 
indoors. Mrs Housman played and sang. 
She drove to church in the morning in a 
shut fly. 



208 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, May i6th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have just come back 
from Rosedale, where we had a most 
amusing Sunday, rather spoilt by the 
incessant rain. Of course it cleared up 
this morning, and it's now a glorious day. 
The Housmans were asked and she came, 
and he was expected by a later train, but 
chucked at the last minute. Nobody was 
there except Mrs Campion, Freda, and 
Godfrey., 

We had a lot of music. Mrs Housman 
never let George have one moment's 
conversation with her. He is quite miser- 
able. It is quite clear that she has cut 
him out of her life. I think it would have 
been better if he had gone to Madras. 
It's too late now, they've appointed some- 
one else. 

o 209 



Passing B ij 



Last Tuesday I went to a huge dinner- 
party at Lady Arthur Mellor's, Godfrey's 
aunt. Sir Arthur is quite gaga and took 
me for George the whole evening. I sat 
between an EngHsh blue stocking and the 
wife of one of the Russian secretaries. 
She told me rather pointedly that these 
were the kind of people she preferred. 
" Ici,"she said, "on voit de vrais Anglais, 
des gens vraiment bien." There was no 
gainsaying that. 

But of course the chief news, which 
you probably have heard, is that Louise 
Shamier has left her husband, and she is 
going to marry Lavroff — that is to say, if 
she gets a divorce. He apparently refused 
to do the necessary in the way of making 
a divorce possible, so she has left him and 
has gone to Italy with Lavroff. Every- 
body thinks it is the greatest pity, and 
1, personally, am miserable about it. The 
only comfort is that it might have been 
George. Yrs. 

G. 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, May i6th. 

Caught a bad cold at Rosedale from 
walking in the wet. 

Tuesday, May i-jth. 

Cold worse. Saw the doctor, who said 
I must go to bed and not think of going 
to the office. 

Wednesday, May iSiA. 

Stayed in bed all day and read a book 
called Sir Archibald Malmaison, by Julian 
Hawthorne. 

Thursday, May i<)th. 
Better. Got up. 

Friday, May -ioth. 

Went to the office. 

Saturday, May 2isi. 

Went down to Staines to the Housmans'. 
Found Lady Jarvis, A. and Mrs Fairburn. 

211 



Pass ing By 



At dinner Mrs Fairburn talked of the 
Shamier divorce. Mrs Housman said she 
admired people who behaved like that, 
and she thought it far better than a hidden 
liaison. Mrs Fairburn agreed, and said 
there was nothing she despised so much 
as dishonesty and concealment. 

Sunday, May '2.2nd. 

It again rained all Sunday, so we were 
unable to go on the river. It cleared up 
in the evening. Housman took Mrs 
Fairburn out in a punt. 

Housman told us he had taken for the 
summer the same house they had last 
year at Carbis Bay. He invited A. to 
come there and to stay as long as he liked. 
A. said he would be yachting on the west 
coast this summer and he would certainly 
pay them a visit. Housman said Lady 
Jarvis must come, and he is going to ask 
Cunninghame. Mrs Fairburn said it was 
a pity she would not be able to come, but 
she always spent August and September 
in France. 

212 



Passing By 



Monday, May i^rd. 

I had luncheon with Cunninghame at 
his Club. He said that A. does not seem 
quite so depressed as usual. 

Dined at the Club. 

Tuesday, May i/^th. 

A. is giving a dinner to some French 
d^puUs at his Club. Cunninghame and I 
have both been invited. 

Wednesday, May i^th. 

Dined at the Club with Solway. Went 
to the Opera afterwards, for which Solway 
had been given two places. Debussy's 
Pelleas et MMsande. We both enjoyed it. 

Thursday, May idth. 

Dined with Aunt Ruth. I had a long 
talk with her after dinner. She asked 
after Riley, whom she knows well. " I 
hear," she said, " he has become a Roman 
Catholic ; of course he will always have 
a parti-pfis now. I wonder if he has 
realised that." Uncle Arthur joined in 
the conversation and thought we were 
213 



Pausing By 



talking" of someone else, but of whom I 
have no idea, as he said it all came from 
not going to school. Riley has been to 
three schools, besides Oxford, Heidelberg 
and Berlin universities, and has taken 
his degree in French law. He, Riley, is 
staying with me to-morrow night. 
Friday, May zith. 

I told Riley that I had heard a lady 
discussing his conversion lately, and that 
she had wondered whether he realised 
that he would have a parti-pris in future. 
Riley said : " I rather hope I shall. Do 
you really think one becomes a Catholic 
to drift like a sponge on a sea of indecision, 
or to be like an ^olian harp ? Don't you 
yourself think," he said, "that parti-pris 
is rather a mild term for such a tremendous 
decision, such a venture} Would your 
friend think parti-pris the right expression 
to use of a man who nailed his colours to 
the mast during a sea-battle? It is a 
good example of miosis." I asked him 
what miosis meant. He said that if I 

214 



Passing By 



wanted another example it would be 
miosis to say that the French Revolution 
put Marie Antoinette to considerable 
inconvenience. Besides which, it was 
putting the cart before the horse to say 
you would be likely to have a parti-pris, 
when by the act of becoming a Catholic 
you had proclaimed the greatest of all 
possible parti-pris. It was like saying to 
a man who had enlisted in the Army: " You 
will probably become very pro-British." 
"You won't," he said, " think things out." 
I said that it was not I who had made the 
comment, but my aunt, Lady Mellor. 

Saturday, May z%th. 

A. has gone to the country. Dined at 
the Club. 

Sunday, May i<)th. 

Had luncheon with Lady Maria. The 
company consisted of Hollis, the play- 
wright, and his wife, Miss Flora Routledge, 
who, I believe, began to write novels in 
the sixties, Sir Hubert Taylor, the Acade- 
215 



Passing By 



mician, and his wife, and Sir Horace 
Main, K.C. I was the only person 
present not a celebrity. 

LadyMaria asked me howthe Housmans 
were. She had not seen them for an age. 
I said the Housmans were living in the 
country. 

She said I must bring A. to luncheon 
one Sunday. " Who would he like to 
meet ? " she asked ; " I am told he only 
likes musicians, and I am so unmusical, I 
know so few. But perhaps he only likes 
beautiful musicians." I said I was sure 
A. would be pleased to meet anyone she 
asked. She said : " I'm sure it's no use 
asking him ; he's sure to be away on 
Sundays." I said A. usually spent Sunday 
at Littlehampton. "Or on the Thames," 
Lady Maria said. 

She said she hadn't seen the Housmans 
for a year. She heard Mr Housman had 
dropped all his old friends. 



216 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Monday, May 30M. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have been terribly bad 
about writing, and I haven't written to 
you for a fortnight. I got your letter last 
week, and was immensely amused by 
all you say. Sunday week I stayed with 
Edith, a family party, but rather fun all 
the same. I went to the opera twice this 
week and once the week before. Nothing 
very exciting. The Housmans haven't 
got a box this year. Yesterday I stayed 
with them at Staines. There was no one 
else there except Miss Housman. Thank 
heaven, no Mrs Fairburn ! George, by the 
way, hasn't the remotest idea of " Bert's" 
infidelities. I believe he thinks him a 
model husband. He is still in low spirits, 
but rather better because he is fearfully 
busy. He has been going out more lately, 
which is a good thing, and he has been 
217 



Passing By 



entertaining foreigners and official people, 
too. People are now saying he is going 
to marry Lavinia Wray That story has 
only just reached the large public. They 
are a little bit out of date. As a matter 
of fact, Lavinia has quite settled to go in 
for nursing, but she hasn't broken it yet 
to her relations. Louise will, I believe, 
get her divorce. They have left Italy 
and gone to Russia, where Lavroff has 
got a large property. 

I have got a terribly busy week next 
week, dinners nearly every night, besides 
balls. So don't be surprised if you don't 
hear from me for some time. 
Yrs. 

G. 



218 



From the. Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, May yith. 

Heard to-day from Gertrude. She and 
Anstruther arrive next week for three 
months' leave from Buenos Aires. They 
are going to stay at the Hans Crescent 
Hotel. Anstruther does not expect to go 
back to Buenos Aires. They hope to get 
Christiania or Belgrade. They ask me to 
inform Aunt Ruth and Uncle Arthur of their 
arrival, which I must try to remember to do, 
as Gertrude is Aunt Ruth's favourite niece. 

Tuesday, May ^ist. 

A. is not at all well. He says he has 
got a bad headache, Ijut he has to go to 
an official dinner to-night. He is also 
most annoyed at having been chosen as 
a delegate to the Conference that takes 
place in Canada in August. This, he 
says, will prevent his doing any yachting 
this year as he will not be back before the 
end of September. 

219 



Passing By 



Wednesday, June \st. 

Riley came to see me at the office and 
asked me whether I could put him up for 
a few nights. I would with pleasure, but 
I warned him that I should be having 
most of my meals with Solway, who is up 
in London for a week. 



Thursday, June ^nd. 

Went to Aunt Ruth's after dinner and 
remembered to tell her that Gertrude was 
arriving next week. Aunt Ruth was glad 
to hear the news and said she hoped 
Edmund would get promotion this time. 
He had been passed over so often. I said 
I hoped so also, but I suppose I did not 
display enough enti^usiasm, as Aunt Ruth 
said I didn't seem to take much interest 
in my brother-in-law's career. I assured 
her I was fond of Gertrude and had the 
greatest respect for my brother-in-law. 
Uncle Arthur said: "What, Anstruther? 
The man's a pompous ass." Aunt Ruth 
was rather shocked. 

220 



Passing By 



Friday, July yd. 

Solway has arrived in London. He is 
staying at St Leonard's Terrace, Chelsea. 
He is taking me to a concert to-morrow 
night. Riley has also arrived. He said 
he would prefer not to go to a concert. 

Saturday, June /^th. 

The concert last night was a success. 
Miss Bowden played Bach's Chaconne. 
Solway was greatly excited and said 
loudly : " I knew she could do it ; I knew 
she could do it." 

Sunday, June ^th. 

A. hasn't been at all well this week, and 
he has put off staying with the Housmans 
to-day. They asked me, but as Solway 
and Riley were here I did not like to go. 
Cunninghame has asked me to dinner 
next week to meet his cousin, Mrs Caryl. 
I shall have to conceal from Gertrude 
that I am going to meet them, as Caryl 
was promoted over his head and she 
would think it disloyal on my part. 

221 



Passing By 



Solway and Riley had luncheon with 
me at the Club. In the afternoon I went 
to hear Miss Bowden play at a Mrs 
Griffith's house, where Solway is staying. 
We could not persuade Riley to come. I 
had supper there with Solway. Riley 
went to more literary circles and had 
supper with Professor Langdon, the 
Shakespearean critic. 



222 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, June 6th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Please write down in your 
engagement book that you are dining 
with me on Thursday as well as on 
Monday. I have asked Godfrey Mellor 
to meet you on Thursday. George is laid 
up with appendicitis, and 1 am afraid he 
is very bad indeed. The doctors are 
going to decide to-day whether they are 
to operate immediately or not. He is at 
a nursing home in Welbeck Street. His 
sister is looking after him. He was going 
to Canada in August. I don't suppose he 
will be able to now. 

I am looking forward to seeing you 
quite tremendously. 

Yours, 

G. 



22 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, June 6th. 

A. has got appendicitis and has been 
taken to a nursing home. I have just 
heard he is to have an operation to-morrow 
morning. 

Tuesday, Jicne ith. 

A.'s operation was successfully per- 
formed, but he is still very ill. Cunning- 
hame has been to Welbeck Street this 
morning and saw his sister. She is most 
anxious. He was, of course, not allowed 
to see A. 

Wednesday, June ith. 

I sat up late last night talking to Riley. 

Thursday, June ^th. 

Cunninghame went to Welbeck Street 
and saw the doctor. He says there is 
every chance of his recovery. Apparently 
the danger was in having to do the 
operation at once, while there was still 
224 



Pass i ng B If 



inflammation. It was not exactly appendi- 
citis, but Cunninghame's report was too 
technical for my comprehension. 

I dined with Cunninghame to-day to 
meet Mrs Caryl. I had not met her 
husband before. He is, I thought, 
slightly stiff. Lady Jarvis was there also. 
She was much disturbed about A.'s illness. 

Friday, June lotk. 

Gertrude and Edmund Anstruther 
arrived yesterday. I dined with them 
to-night. Edmund said the way diplomats 
were treated was a scandal. The hard- 
working members of the profession were 
always passed over. The best posts were 
given to men outside the profession. No 
conscientious man could expect to get on in 
such a profession. If he was passed over 
this time he would not stand it any longer, 
but he would leave the Service altogether. 
The Foreign Office, he said, was so weak. 
They never backed up a subordinate who 
took a strong line. They always climbed 
down. I wondered what Edmund had 
p 225 



Passing By 



been taking a strong line about in Buenos 
Aires. Gertrude agreed. She said they 
had been there for three years without 
leave, and if they did not get a good post 
she would advise Edmund to retire and 
get something in the City. There were 
plenty of firms in the city who would 
jump at getting Edmund. She mentioned 
the Housmans and said she knew they 
were friends of mine, and didn't want to 
say anything against them, but she had 
met many people in Buenos Aires who 
knew Mrs Housman intimately, and said 
she was rather a dangerous woman. I 
asked in what way she was dangerous. 
Gertrude said : " Perhaps you do not know 
she is a Roman Catholic." I said I had 
known this for years, but she never talked 
of it. " That's just what I mean," said 
Gertrude ; " they are far too subtle, and I 
am afraid too underhand to talk of it 
openly. They lead you on." I asked 
Gertrude if she thought Mrs Housman 
wished to convert me. She said most 
226 



Passing By 



certainly. Her friends in Buenos Aires 
had told her she had made many converts. 
It was the only thing she cared for, and 
even if she didn't, Roman Catholics were 
obliged to do so. It was only natural, if 
they thought we all went to hell if we 
were not converted. 

I said I was not sure Roman Catholics 
did believe that. Gertrude and Edmund 
said I was wrong. I could ask anyone. 
Gertrude repeated she had no wish to say 
anything against Mrs Housman, and she 
was convinced she was a good woman 
according to her lights. 

Edmund said there had been many 
conversions in the Diplomatic Service. 
He was convinced this was part of a 
general conspiracy. If you wanted to get 
on in the Diplomatic Service you had 
better be a Roman Catholic. Of course 
those who did not choose to sacrifice their 
conscience, their independence, their tradi- 
tions, and were loyal to the Church and 
the State, suffered. I said I didn't quite 
227 



Passing By 



see where loyalty to the State came in. 
Edmund said : " How could you be loyal 
to the State when you were under the 
authority of an Italian Bishop?" I must 
know that the Italian Cardinals were 
always in the majority. I said that, con- 
sidering the number of Catholics in 
England, compared with the number of 
Catholics in other countries, I should be 
surprised to see a majority of English 
Cardinals at the Vatican. I said Edmund 
wanted England to be a Protestant country, 
and at the same time to have the lion's 
share in Catholic affairs. Edmund said 
that was not at all what he meant. What 
he meant was that an Englishman should 
be loyal to his Church, which was an 
integral part of the State. 

I said there were many Englishmen 
who would prefer the State to have 
nothing to do with the Church. Edmund 
said there were many Englishmen who 
did not deserve the name of Englishmen. 
For instance, Caryl, who was now Second 
228 



Passing By 



Secretary at Paris, had been promoted 
over his head three years ago. What was 
the reason ? Mrs Caryl was a Roman 
CathoHc and Caryl had been converted 
soon after his marriage. I foolishly said 
that the Caryls were now in London, 
and when Edmund asked me how I 
knew this I said that Aunt Ruth had 
told me. 

This raised a storm, as it appears that 
Aunt Ruth does know the Caryls and asks 
them to dinner when they are in London. 
Edmund said he would talk to Aunt Ruth 
about them seriously. I asked him as a 
favour to do no such thing. And Gertrude 
told him not to be foolish, and added 
magnanimously that Mrs Caryl was a nice 
woman, if a little fast. 

For a man who has lived all his life 
abroad Edmund Anstruther is singularly 
deeply imbued with British prejudice. 

They are staying in London until the 
middle of July. Then they are going on 
a round of visits. Edmund is confident 

229 



Passing By 



that he will get Christiania. I feel that 
it is more than doubtful. 

Riley went back to Shelborough to-day. 

Saturday, June wth. 

Received a telegram from Housman, 
askine me to go to Staines. I went down 
by the afternoon train, and found Lady 
Jarvis, Miss Housman and Carrington- 
Smith. Housman was anxious for news 
of A. I told him I believed he was now 
out of danger, but that it would be a long 
time before he was quite well again. 
Housman said he must certainly come to 
Cornwall. I said he had intended to go 
to Canada for a Conference, but would be 
unable to do so now. Housman said that 
was providential. 

Sunday, June 12th. 

A fine day, but the river was crowded 
and hardly enjoyable. I sat with Mrs 
Housman in the garden in the evening. 
The others went on the river again. Mrs 
Housman asked me if I had seen A. I 
said he was not allowed to see anyone. 
230 



Passing By 



Monday, Jtme i^th. 

A. is getting on as well as can be ex- 
pected. There appears to be no doubt of 
his recovery. Cunninghame is going to 
see him to-day. 

Tuesday, June 14M. 

Cunninghame says that A. wants to see 
me. I am to go there to-morrow. 

Dined with Hope, who was at Oxford 
with me. He is just back from Russia, 
where he has been to make arrangements 
for producing some play in London. He 
thinks of nothing now but the stage, and 
a play of his is going to be produced at 
the Court Theatre. I promised to go and 
see it. He spoke of Riley, and I told him 
he had become a Roman Catholic. Hope 
said he regarded that as sinning against 
the light. He said no one at this time of 
day could believe such things. 

Wednesday, June i^th. 

I went to see A. at Welbeck Street. 
He has been very ill and looks white and 
thin. His sister was there, but I had 
231 



Pass in g By 



some conversation with him alone. I 
told him all the news I could think of, 
which was not much. He said he liked 
seeing people, but was not allowed more 
than one visitor a day. He had got a 
very good nurse. Housman had sent him 
grapes and magnificent fruit every day. 
He said he would like to see Mrs Hous- 
man, but supposed that was impossible, as 
she never came to London now. He said 
Cunninghame had been very good to him, 
and had put off going to Ascot to look 
after him. 

I wrote to Mrs Housman this evening 
and grave her A.'s messagfe. 

Thursday, June l6th. 

Dined with Aunt Ruth. Gertrude and 
Edmund were there. Edmund said to 
Aunt Ruth that he had heard the Caryls 
were in London. Aunt Ruth said she 
had no idea of this, and she would ask 
them to dinner next Thursday. Aunt 
Ruth asked a good many diplomats to 
meet Edmund, and they had a long talk 
232 



Passing By 



after dinner about their posts. They 
called Edmund their "Cher collegue." 
Edmund enjoyed himself immensely. 
Uncle Arthur cannot bear him, nor, 
indeed, any diplomats, and it is, 1 think, 
the chief cross of his life that Aunt Ruth 
asks so many of them to dinner. 

Aunt Ruth asked after A. and said that 
she had been to inquire. 

Friday, June \']th. 

Received a letter from Mrs Housman, 
saying she was coming up to London to- 
morrow, and was going to stay with Lady 
Jarvis till Monday. She would go and 
.see A. on Sunday afternoon if convenient. 
She asked me to ring up the nurse and 
find out. I did so and arranged for her 
to call at four o'clock. 

Saturday, June lith. 

I dined with Lady Jarvis. There was 
no one there but Mrs Housman and my- 
self. Cunninghame is staying somewhere 
with friends of the Caryls. 
233 



Passing By 



Sunday, June i^th. 

I had luncheon with Aunt Ruth. 
Edmund and Gertrude were there, but no 
one else. Edmund has been appointed to 
Berne. It is not what he had hoped, but 
better than any of us expected. He said 
Berne might become a most important 
post in the event of a European war. 

Monday, June 20th. 

Dined with the Caryls at the Ritz. 
Cunninghame was there and Miss Holly- 
strop. Mrs Vaughan asked me whether 
it was true that A. had become a Roman 
Catholic. She had heard M rs H ousman had 
converted him. Cunninghame deftly turned 
the conversation on account of Mrs Caryl. 

We all went to the opera — Faust. 

Tuesday, June 2isf. 

I went to see A. He told me Mrs 
Housman had been to see him. He is 
still in bed, but looks better. 

Wednesday, June -z^nd. 

Barnes of the P.O. came to the office 
234 



Passing By 



this morning. He asked after A. He 
said he had heard that the real cause of 
his illnesswas his passion for MrsHousman, 
who would have nothing to do with him 
unless he was converted. Cunninghame 
said he wondered he could talk such 
nonsense. 



Thursday, June 2yd. 

Went to Aunt Ruth's after dinner. The 
Caryls were there, and Gertrude and 
Edmund came after dinner. Heated argu- 
ments were going on about the situation 
in Russia, Edmund taking the ultra- 
conservative point of view, much to the 
annoyance of Aunt Ruth and Uncle 
Arthur, who felt even more strongly on 
the matter because he thought they were 
discussing the French Revolution. 

Friday, funei/^ih. 

Dined with Lady Jarvis ; she was alone. 

She said Mrs Housman was coming up 

again to-morrow. The fact is, she says, 

Staines is intolerable now on Sundays. 

235 



Passing By 



Mrs Fairburn comes down almost every 
Sunday. She overwhelms Mrs Housman 
with her gush and her pretended silliness. 
Housman thinks her the most wonderful 
woman he has ever met. 

Saturday, Jjine 'ic^th. 

Went down to S to stay with Riley. 

Riley lives in a small villa surrounded with 
laurels. A local magnate came to dinner, 
who is suspected of being about to present 
some expensive masterpieces to the public 
gallery. 

Sunday, June 26tk. 

Riley went to Mass in the morning. I 
sat in his smoking-room, which is a litter 
of books and papers and exceedingly 
untidy. A geologist came to luncheon, 
Professor Langer, a naturalised German. 
When we were walking in the garden 
afterwards, he said he could not under- 
stand how Riley reconciled his creed with 
plain facts of geology. But Riley's case 
surprised him less than that of another of 
236 



Passing By 



his colleagues, who was a great authority 
on geology, and nevertheless a devout 
Catholic, and not only never missed Mass 
on Sundays, but had told him, Langer, 
that he fully subscribed to every point of 
the Catholic Faith. It was true he was 
an Irishman, but politically he was not at 
all fanatical, and not even a Home -Ruler. 
In the afternoon we had tea with the 
magnate, whose house is full of Academy 
pictures. I now understand what happens 
to that great quantity of pictures we see 
once at the Academy and then never 
again. An art critic was invited to tea 
also. He had, I believe, been invited 
here to persuade the magnate in question 
to present some very modern piece of art 
to the city. He seemed disappointed 
when he saw the pictures on the walls, 
and when the magnate asked his opinion 
of a composition called A Love Letter, he 
said he did not think the picture a very 
good one. The magnate said he regretted 
not having bought Home Thoughts, by 
237 



Passing By 



the same painter, which was undoubtedly 
superior. 

We dined alone, and I told Riley what 
Professor Langer had said. He said : 
" Most Protestants, whether they have any 
religion or not, attribute Protestant notions 
to the Catholic Church. What these 
people say shows to what extent the con- 
ception of Rome has been distorted by 
their being saturated with Protestant 
ideas. Mallock says some>vhere that the 
Anglicans talk of the Catholic Church as 
if she were a lapsed Protestant sect, and 
they attack her for being false to what 
she has never professed. He says they 
don't see the real difference between the 
two Churches, which is not in this or 
that dogma, but in the authority on which 
all dogma rests. The Professors you 
quote take for granted that Catholics base 
their religion, as Protestants do, on the 
Bible solely, and judged from that point of 
view she seems to them superstitious and 
dishonest. But Catholics believe that 
238 



Passing By 



Christ guaranteed infallibility to the 
Church in perpetuum : perpetual infalli- 
bility. Catholics discover this not at first 
from the Church as doctrine, but from 
records as trustworthy human documents, 
and they believe that the Church being 
perpetually infallible can only interpret 
the Bible in the right way. They believe 
she is guided in the interpretation of the 
Bible by the same Spirit which inspired 
the Bible. She teaches us more about the 
Bible. She says this is what the Bible 
teaches." 

He said : " Mallock makes a further 
point. It is not only Protestant divines who 
talk like that. 1 1 is your advanced thinkers, 
men like Langer and his colleagues. 
They utterly disbelieve in the Protestant 
religion ; they trust the Protectants in 
nothing else, but at the same time they 
take their word for it, without further 
inquiry, that Protestantism is more reason- 
able than Catholicism. If they have 
destroyed Protestantism they conclude 
239 



Passing By 



they must have destroyed Catholicism a 
fortiori. With regard to Langer's geo- 
logical friend, it doesn't make a pin's 
difference to a Catholic whether evolution 
or natural selection is true or false. 
Neither of these theories pretends to ex- 
plain the origin of life. Catholics believe 
the origin of life is God." He had heard 
a priest say, not long ago: "A Catholic 
can believe in evolution, and in evolution 
before evolution, and in evolution before 
that, if he likes, but what he must believe 
is that God made the world and in it mind, 
and that at some definite moment the 
mind of man rebelled against God." 

Monday, June ilth. 

A. telephoned for me. I saw him this 
afternoon. His room was full of flowers. 
He will not be allowed to get up till the 
end of the week. As soon as he is allowed 
to go out the doctor says he ought to go 
away and get some sea air. There is no 
question of his going to Canada. The 
Housmans have asked him to go to 
240 



Passing B y 



Cornwall and he is going there as soon as 
he can. He asked me when I was going. 
I said at the end of the month, if that 
would be convenient to him. 

Tuesday, June i%th. 

Finished Renan's Souvenirs d'Enfance et 
de Jeunesse. He says : " Je regrettais par 
moments de n'etre pas protestant, afin de 
pouvoir etre philosophe sans cesser d'etre 
Chretien. Puis je reconnaissais qu'il n'y 
a que les Catholiques qui soient conse- 
quents." Riley's argument. Dined at 
the Club. 

Wednesday, June i^th. 

Dined with Hope at a restaurant in 
Soho. Quite a large gathering, with no 
one I knew. We had dinner in a private 
room. Two journalists — Hoxton, who 
writes in one of the Liberal newspapers, 
and Brice, who edits a weekly newspaper 
— had a heated argument about religion. 
Brice is and has always been an R.C. 
Hoxton's views seemed to me violent but 
Q 241 



Passing By 



undefined. He said, as far as I under- 
stood, that the Eastern Church was far 
nearer to early Christian tradition than 
the Western Church, and that by not 
defining things too narrowly and by not 
having an infallible Pope the Greeks 
had an inexpressible advantage over the 
Romans. Upon which someone else who 
was there said that the Greeks believed 
in the infallibility of the First Seven 
Councils ; they believed their decisions to 
be as infallible as any papal utterance, 
and that dogma had been defined once 
and for all by the Councils. Brice said 
this was quite true, and while the Greeks 
had shut the door, the Catholic Church 
had left the door open. Besides which, he 
argued, what was the result of the action 
of the Greeks ? Look at the Russian 
Church. As soon as it was separated it 
gave birth to another schism and that 
schism resulted in the rise of about a 
hundred religions, one of which had for 
one of its tenets that children should be 
242 



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strangled at their birth so as to inherit 
the Kingdom of Heaven without delay. 
That, said Brice, is the result of schism. 

The other man said that there was no 
religion so completely under the control 
of the Government as the Russian. The 
Church was ultimately in the hands of 
gendarmes. Hoxton said that in spite 
of schisms, and in spite of anything the 
Government might do, the Eastern Church 
retained the early traditions of Christianity. 
Therefore, if an Englishman wanted to 
become a Catholic, it was absurd for him 
to become a Roman Catholic. He should 
first think of joining the Eastern Church 
and becoming a Greek Catholic. The 
other man, whose name I didn't catch, 
asked why, in that case, did Russian 
philosophers become Catholics and why 
did Solovieff, the Russian philosopher, 
talk of the pearl Christianity having 
unfortunately reached Russia smothered 
under the dust of Byzantium ? 

Brice said the Greek Church was 
243 



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schismatic and the Anglican Church was 
heretical and that was the end of the 
matter. Hoxton said: "My philosophy 
is quite as good as yours." Brice said it 
was a pity he could neither define nor 
explain his philosophy. Hope, who was 
bored by the whole argument, turned the 
conversation on to the Russian stage. 
Thursday, June y>th. 

Dined with Aunt Ruth. After dinner 
I sat next to a Russian diplomatist who 
knew Riley. He said he was glad he 
had become a Catholic — he himself was 
Orthodox. He evidently admired the 
Catholic religion. He said, among other 
things, how absurd it was to think that 
such floods of ink had been used to prove 
the Gospel of St John had not been 
written by St John. He said, even if it 
wasn't, the Church has said it was written 
by St John for over a thousand years. 
She has made it her own. He himself 
saw no reason to think it was not written 
by St John. Uncle Arthur, who caught 
244 



Pass ing By 



the tail end of this conversation, said the 
authorship of John Peel was a subject 
of much dispute. Gertrude wasn't there ; 
they have gone to the country. 

Friday, July ist 

Dined with Lady Jarvis. Cunninghame 
was there and a large gathering of people. 
More people came after dinner and there 
was music, but such a crowd that I could 
not get near enough to listen so 1 gave it 
up and stayed in another room. Lady 
Jarvis told me Mrs Housman is going 
down to Cornwall next Monday. 

Saturday, July ^oth. Grey Farm, 
Carbis Bay. 

Arrived this evening after a hot and 
disagreeable journey. The Housmans 
are here alone. Housman goes back to 
London on Tuesday. A. is coming down 
here as soon as he is fit to travel. He is 
still very weak. 
Sunday, July ^ist 

The Housmans went to Mass. Father 
Stanway came to luncheon. He said he 
245 



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had been giving instruction to an Indian 
boy who is being brought up as an R.C. 
I asked him if it was difificult for an Indian 
to understand Christian dogma. Father 
Stanway said that the child had amazed 
him. He had been telling him about the 
Trinity and the Indian had said to him : 
" I see — ice, snow, rain — all water." 

Monday, August ist. 

Housman played golf. Mrs Housman 
took me to the cliffs and began reading out 
Les Miserables, which I have never read. 

Tuesday, August znd. 

Housman left early this morning. We 
sat on the beach and read Les Miserables. 

Wed/iesdav, August ^rd. 

Lady Jarvis arrives to-morrow. We 
continued Les Miserables in the afternoon 
and after dinner. Mrs Housman said 
that some conversations and the reading 
of certain passages in books were like 
events. Once or twice in her life she had 
come across sentences in a book which, 
246 



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although they had nothing extraordinary 
about them and expressed things anyone 
might have thought or said, were like a 
revelation, or a solution, and seemed to 
be written in letters of flame and had a 
permanent effect on her whole life ; one 
such sentence was the following from Les 
Miserables : " Ne craignons jamais les 
voleurs ni les meutriers. Ce sont la les 
dangers du dehors, les petits dangers. 
Craignons nous-m^mes. Les prejuges, 
voila les voleurs ; les vices, voila les 
meutriers. Les grands dangers sont au 
dedans de nous. Qu'importe ce qui 
menace notre tete ou notre bourse ! " She 
said : " Of course this has never prevented 
me from feeling frightened when I hear 
a scratching noise in the night. That 
paralyses me with terror." 
Thursday, August \th. 

We continued our reading. The 
weather has been propitious. Lady 
Jarvis arrived in the evening. We con- 
tinued our reading after dinner. 
247 



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Friday^ August ^th. 

A. arrived this evening. He was ex- 
hausted after the journey and went to bed 
at once. Housman arrives to-morrow — 
he is only staying till Monday. 

Saturday, August 6th. 

A. sat in the garden and Mrs Housman 
read out some stories by H. G. Wells 
from a book called The Plattner Story, 
which we all enjoyed. 

Housman arrived in the evening. A. 
is not yet strong enough to walk. He 
sits in the garden all day. The weather 
is perfectly suited to an invalid. 

Sunday, August "jth. 

Housman invited Father Stanway to 
luncheon. He and Housman talked of 
politicians and popularity and the Press and 
to what extent their reputation depended 
on it. Housman said it was death to a 
politician not to be mentioned. A politician 
needed popularity among the public as 
much as an actor did. Father Stanway 
248 



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said it was a double-edged weapon and 
that those who lived by it risked perishing 
by it. Housman said Gladstone and 
Beaconsfield had lived by it successfully. 
Father Stanway said it depends whether 
you want to be famous or whether you 
want to get things done. A man can do 
anything in the world if he doesn't mind 
not getting the credit for it. Father 
Stanway said nobody realised this better 
than Lord Beaconsfield. He said some- 
where that it was private life that governs 
the world and that the more you were 
talked about the less powerful you were. 

• A. is a little better. I went for a walk 
with Father Stanway in the afternoon. 
I asked him a few questions about the 
system of Confession. He said the 
Sacrament of Penance was a Divine 
Institution. I asked him if the practice 
did not lead to the shirking of responsi- 
bility and the dulling of the conscience on 
the part of those who went to Confession. 
He said Confession was not an opiate but 
249 



P as si ng By 



a sharp and bitter medicine, disagreeable 
to take but leaving a clean after-taste 
in the mouth. I gave him a hypothetical 
case of a man being in love with a 
Catholic married woman. If the woman 
was a practising Catholic and faithful to 
her husband, and if she continued to be 
friends with the man who was in love 
with her, would she confess her conduct 
and, if so, would the priest approve of 
the conduct ? Father Stanway said it was 
difficult to judge unless one knew the 
whole facts. If the woman knew she was 
acting in a way which might lead to sin 
or even to scandal — that is to say, in 
a way which would have a bad effect on 
others — she would be bound to confess it. 
If a woman asked him his advice in such 
a case he would strongly advise her to 
put an end to the relationship. I said : 
"You wouldn't forbid it?" He said: 
"The Church forbids sin, and penitents 
when they receive Absolution undertake to 
avoid the occasions of sin." He said he 
250 



Passing By 



could not tell me more without knowing 
more of the facts. Cases were sometimes 
far more complicated than they appeared 
to be, but however complicated they were, 
there was no doubt as to the attitude of the 
Church towards that kind of sin and to 
the advisability of avoiding occasions that 
might bring it about. 

Monday, August ?>th. 

Housman went back to London. 
Cunninghame arrives to-morrow. A. 
walked as far as the beach this morning. 
In the afternoon Lady Jarvis took him 
for a drive. Mrs Housman went into the 
town to do some shopping. 

Tuesday, August gth. 

We all went for a drive in a motor to 
a village with a curious name and had tea 
in a farm-house. Cunninghame arrived in 
time for dinner. He has been staying at 
Cowes. 



251 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Carbis Bay, 
Wed?iesday, August loth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I arrived last night from 
Cowes. I found Mrs Housman, Lady 
Jarvis, George and Godfrey. 

George is very much better, but he is 
still weak and can't get about much. He 
is not allowed to play golf yet. He sits 
in the garden , and goes for a mild walk 
once a day. Lady Jarvis says that Mrs 
Housman is very unhappy. In the first 
place, her home is intolerable. Mrs 
Fairburn makes London quite impossible 
for her. It is a wonder that she is not 
here, but as Housman is in London there 
is nothing to be surprised at. In the 
second place, Lady Jarvis thinks that Mrs 
Housman would much rather George 
hadn't come, but she couldn't help it as 
Housman asked him. 
252 



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We do things mostly altogether now. 
1 am staying a fortnight, then I go to 
Worsel for a week and to Edith's till the 
end of September ; then London. Lady 
Jarvis says that she is sure Mrs Housman 
will not spend the winter in London. 

Write to me here and tell me about the 
Mont Dore. I have been there once and 
think it is an appalling place. 
Yrs. 

G. 



253 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Wednesday, August \oth. 

A. has been doing too much, the doctor 
says, and he is not to be allowed out of 
the garden for a few days. Mrs Housman 
and Lady Jarvis take turns in reading to 
him aloud. We have finished the Wells 
book and we are now reading Midshipman 
Easy. 

Thursday, August nth. 

I went for a walk with Cunninghame. 
He said his favourite book was John 
Inglesant and was surprised that I had not 
read it. He has it with him and has lent 
it to me. 

Friday, August 12th. 

It rained all day. We spent the day 
reading aloud. 

Saturday, August 13//^. 

A. is much better and went for a walk 
with me this morning. 
254 



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Sunday, August \\th. 

Housman was coming down yesterday 
but telegraphed to say he was detained. 
Mrs Housman went to Mass. In the 
afternoon we received a visit from an 
American who has come here in a yacht 
and met Cunninghame and myself in the 
town this morning. His name is Harold 
C. Jefferson. When I was introduced to 
him he said he did not quite catch my 
name. I said my name was " Mellor " ; 
he said: "Lord or Mister?" Cunning- 
hame told him where he was staying 
and he said he would call — he knew the 
Housmans in America. He asked us all 
to go on board his yacht to-morrow. Mrs 
Housman, Cunninghame and myself ac- 
cepted. Lady Jarvis said she would stop 
with A. who is not up to it. 
Monday, August T-Ztk. 

We had luncheon on board Mr Jeffer- 
son's yacht, a large steam vessel. It has 
on board a piano and an organ, both of 
which are played by electricity, which is 
255 



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in some respects satisfactory, but the tempo 
of the M eistersinger Overture which was 
performed for us was accelerated out of 
all recognition. 

Tuesday, August idth. 

A Miss Simpson called in the afternoon 
to ask Mrs Housman to help with some 
local charity ; she lives at the Hotel. She 
said she found it very inconvenient not 
being able to go to Church. We wondered 
what prevented her doing so, but she soon 
gave us the reason herself She said that 
the local clergyman was so low — no east- 
ward position. 

A. is much better and went for a walk 
with Lady Jarvis. 

Wednesday, August 17/^. 

Housman has written to say that he 
will not be able to come down until late in 
September. Carrington-Smith is unwell 
and he is overwhelmed with business. 
He, Housman, may have to meet a man 
in Paris. 

256 



Passing By 



Thursday, August iS/A. 

A rainy day. Cunninghame and I went 
out in spite of the rain. 

Friday, August i^th. 

Cunninghame played golf with General 
York. 

Saturday, August loth. 

Lady Jarvis, Mrs Housman and myself 
went for a drive. A. played golf with 
Cunninghame. I began John Inglesant 
last night. Mrs Housman has never read 
it. After dinner we had some music. Mrs 
Housman played Schubert's Prometheus 
and hummed the tune. She says it is a 
man's song. 

Sunday, August 21st. 

A. says he is going to have his yacht 
sent up here — he will be able to sail back 
in her. Mrs Housman went to Mass. 
In the afternoon we sat in the garden and 
read out aloud Cashel Byron's Profession, 
a novel by Bernard Shaw. A. enjoyed it 
immensely. 

R 257 



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Monday, August 22nd. 

We drove to the Lizard in a motor and 
had luncheon at the Hotel. A. misses his 
yacht very much but he has sent for her. 
After dinner we played Clumps. 

Tuesday, Ategus/ lyd. 

Cunninghame was going to-morrow but 
he is staying till Saturday. Mrs Housman 
went to Newquay to the convent for the 
day. Lady Jarvis took A. for a drive. 

Wednesday, August i\th. 

This morning A., Cunninghame and 
myself walked down to the town. We 
met a friend of Cunninghame's called 
Randall, who is yachting. He has just 
come from France. 



258 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Grey Farm, Carbis Bay, 
Thursday, August 25/A. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I am stopping here till 
Saturday, then Worsel, then Edith's. 
You had better write to Edith's. Yester- 
day morning we were in the town, George, 
Godfrey and I, and we met Jimmy 
Randall, who has come here in the Gold- 
berg's yacht. They had been to St Malo 
and other places in France. When we 
said we were staying with the Housmans, 
Randall said there was not much chance 
of our seeing Housman for some time as 
he was having the time of his life with 
Mrs Fairburn at a little place near 
Deauville. 

This came as a revelation to George, 

who had no idea of Housman 's adventures. 

He has scarcely spoken since. We are 

having a very happy time and I am 

259 



Passing By 



miserable at having to go away. George 
is quite well. He has sent for his yacht, 
but he is not staying on very long as he 
has got to go to one or two places before 
he goes back to London. The weather has 
been divine. Godfrey is quite cheerful. 

I shan't write again till I get to Edith's. 
I shan't stop more than a night at Worsel 
on the way. 

Edith is clamouring for me to come. 
The Caryls are staying there. 
Yrs. 

G. 



260 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Thursday, August i^tk. 

I went out for a walk with Cunning- 
hame ; he asked me whether I had liked 
John Inglesant. I said I had it read with 
interest but it gave me the creeps ; it had 
the chill of a dream world ; I preferred 
the character of Eustace Inglesant to that 
of his brother John. Cunninghame said 
he had read it five times ; that John 
Inglesant, Flaubert's Trois Contes and 
Anthony Hope's The King's Mirror were 
his three favourite books. I had read 
neither of the others. Mrs Housman 
and A. went for a walk in the afternoon. 
After dinner Lady Jarvis read out a story 
by Stevenson. 

Friday, August z6th. 

Mrs Housman went to the town in the 

afternoon. A. and Cunninghame played 

golf. I went for a walk with Lady Jarvis. 

She talked about Mrs Housman. She 

a6i 



Passing By 



said it was wonderful what comfort she 
(Mrs H.) found in her religion. As far 
as she herself was concerned, she had 
never ceased to appreciate the luxury of 
not going to church on Sunday, so much 
had she disliked being made to go to 
church before she was grown up. I said 
Mrs Housman had told me that Roman 
Catholic children enjoyed going to church. 
She said : " Yes, and their grown-up 
people too. Clare will probably go to 
church this afternoon. If I was a Catholic 
I could understand it." She said it was 
the only religion she could understand. 
" Unhappily to be a Catholic," she said, 
" one must believe. I am not talking of 
the ritual and the discipline — I mean 
one must believe, have faith in the super- 
natural, and I have none." She said 
that she thought religion was an instinct. 
Her religion consisted in trying not to 
hurt other people's feelings. That was 
difficult enough. She said she had once 
come across this phrase in a French book : 
262 



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" Aimez-vous les uns les autres, c'est 
beaucoup dire supportez-vous les uns les 
autres, c'est ddja assez difficile." Some 
people, she said, arrived at religion by dis- 
believing in disbelief. She didn't believe 
in dogmatic disbelief\i\x\. that didn't lead her 
to anything positive. She said she was glad 
for Mrs Housman that she had her religion. 
I asked her if she thought Mrs Housman 
was very unhappy. She said : " Yes ; but 
there comes a moment in unhappiness 
when people realise that they must either 
live, or die. Clare passed that moment 
a long time ago." People often made 
God in their own image. Mrs Housman 
had a beautiful character. She, Lady 
Jarvis, had no stuff in her to project a 
deity with. She thought that religion 
seldom affected conduct. She thought 
Mrs Housman would have been just the 
same if she had been brought up as a free- 
thinker or a Presbyterian. She thought 
her marriage and her whole life had been 
a gigantic mistake. She ought, she said, 
263 



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to have been a professional singer. She 
was an artist by nature. I said I was 
struck by Mrs Housman's strong common- 
sense and her tact in dealing with people. 
" That would have made her all the greater 
as an artist," Lady Jarvis said. " In all 
arts you want to be good at other things 
besides that art. Riding needs mind." 
She said it was no good wishing to be 
otherwise but she thought it was very 
tragic. She said: "If I believed there 
was another life, this sort of thing wouldn't 
matter, but as I don't it matters very 
much." I said it struck me the other way 
round. If one didn't believe in a future 
life I didn't see that anything could 
matter very much. I asked her if she 
positively believed there wasn't another 
life. She said : " I don't know. I only 
know I don't believe in a future life." I 
asked her if that wasn't faith. She said 
very possibly, but she at any rate hadn't 
the fervent faith in no-God that some 
atheists had. In any case she was not 
364 



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intolerant about it. I asked her if it had 
not often struck her that agnostics and 
free-thinkers were still more intolerant 
than religious people and that they had 
least business to be. She said that was 
exactly what she had meant. The re- 
ligion of other people irritated them ; they 
wanted people to share their particular 
form of unbelief. She never did that. 
She thought dogmatic disbelief intolerable. 
She had the greatest respect for Catholics 
and would give anything to be able to be 
one. Mrs Housman never spoke about 
her religion. We talked about reading. 
I said I always read the newspapers or 
rather The Times every day. I had done 
so for fifteen years. She said she never 
did except in the train but she knew the 
news as well as I did. We talked about 
what is good reading for the train and 
about journeys. I told her of a journey I 
had once taken in France in a third-class 
carriage. She said it was lucky one forgot 
physical discomfort at once unlike mental 
265 



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discomfort. She said something about 
the appalling unnaturalness of people when 
they had to deal with death, and then of 
the misery in seeing other people suffer, 
of the hardness of some people, and of 
a book she had just been reading, called 
Katzensteg, by Sudermann, and then of 
Germans, and so. to music, of Housman's 
great undeveloped musical talent, of Jews, 
how favourable the mixture of Jewish and 
German blood was to music. I said some- 
thing about Jews being rarely men of 
creation or action. She said they were just 
as persistent in getting what they wanted 
as men of action, so she supposed that it 
came to the same. Disraeli was a man of 
action, she supposed, and all the great 
socialists, Marx and Lassalle, they got 
what they wanted. " Un de nous a voulu 
etre Dieu et il I'a et^," she said a Jewish 
financier had once said. This led her to 
Heine. He was her favourite writer, 
both in prose and verse. Had I ever 
read his prose ? I ought to read Geschichte 
266 



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der Religion und Philosophie in Deutsch- 
land. It was the most brilliant book of 
criticism she knew. It was the Jews who 
had invented all great religions, and 
socialism was the invention of the Jews. 
Some people said the Russian revolution 
was Jewish in idea and leadership and 
might very likely lead to a new political 
creed. She said she hated anti-Semitism. 
This led us to Christianity. Christianity 
to her meant Catholicism. She could not 
understand any other form of it. She 
thought there was nothing in the world 
more silly than attempts to make a religion 
of Christianity without the Church — there 
could only be one Church. " But," I said, 
"you disbelieve in it." She said: "Yes; 
but the only thing that could tempt me 
to believe in it is the continued existence 
of the Catholic Church." She said : " It's 
there ; it's a fact, whether one believes in 
its divine origin, as Clare does, or whether 
one doesn't, as I don't. It must either all 
hang together or not exist. You can't 
267 



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take a part of it and make a satisfactory 
and reasonable religion." Not only that, 
nothing- seemed to her more foolish than 
the attempts to make a religion of 
Christianity without the Divine element, 
in which Christ was only a very good 
man. I said if she did not believe in the 
divinity of Christ the story could be no- 
thing more to her than a fable. She said : 
"If one only regards it as a fable, as I 
suppose I do — but again I have no 
dogmatic disbelief in it — it is still the most 
beautiful, impressive, wonderful and tragic 
story ever invented and it seems to me to 
lose its whole point if Christ was only 
a man with hypnotic powers and a head 
turned by ambition or illusion." She 
quoted a Frenchman, who had said that 
he adored Jesus Christ as his Lord and 
God, but " s'il n'est qu'un homme je 
pr^fere Hannibal." Napoleon too had 
said that he knew men and Jesus Christ 
was not a man. Regarded as a story the 
whole point and beauty of the Gospel were 
268 



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lost in all modern versions, rewritings, ex- 
planations and interpretations, and none 
of them held together. She said it was as 
if one rewrote the fairy tales and made 
the fairies not fairies but only clever con- 
jurers. By this time we had reached home. 

Saturday, August 2'jth. 

Cunninghame went away early this 
morning. Mrs Housman told me that 
she was not going to spend the winter in 
London ; she was going to Florence, and 
it was possible she might be away for a 
whole year. A. went out this afternoon 
with Lady Jarvis. 

Sunday, August ■2%tk. 

Mrs York called in the afternoon. Mrs 
Housman was out with A. Lady Jarvis 
and myself entertained her. She was 
most affable and not at all stiff, as she 
was last year. She said she had known 
several of A.'s relations in India. As she 
went away she said to Lady Jarvis, in the 
hall : " You never told me Mrs Housman 
269 



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was an American — ^that makes all the 
difference." 

Monday, August 2qth. 

We all went to the Land's End for the 
day. 

Tuesday, August jpth. 

A.'s yacht has arrived. We had 
luncheon on board and went for a short 
sail in the afternoon ; the sea was reason- 
ably smooth, but Lady Jarvis said that 
the sea under any conditions gave her 
a headache. 

Wednesday, August T,isf. 

Mrs Housman and A. went out for a 
sail in the morning and came back for tea. 
A. says he will have to go away in a day 
or two. After dinner Mrs Housman read 
out Burnand's Happy Thoughts. 

Thursday, September ist. 

A rainy day. Mrs Housman called on 

Mrs York and has asked her and the 

General to luncheon next Sunday. I 

went out for a walk in the rain by myself 

270 



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and got very wet. Mrs Housman said 
that the Indian servant stood motionless 
behind Mrs York's chair during the whole 
of the visit. This embarrassed her. She felt 
inclined to draw him into the conversation. 

Friday, September 2ftd. 

Mrs Housman went to the convent by 
herself. Lady Jarvis and A. went out for 
a walk and I stayed at home. It is quite 
fine again. A. leaves next Monday. 

Saturday, September ^rd. 

A. wanted to go out sailing but Mrs 
Housman thought it was too windy. We 
all went for a drive instead. 

Sunday, September 4tk. 

General York and Mrs York came to 
luncheon. The General was a little 
nervous, but Mrs York was affable and 
friendly. She said she had never got 
used to the English climate. Lady Jarvis 
asked Mrs York if she had been to church. 
Mrs York said they had a church quite 
271 



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close to their house in the village but she 
always drove to our village church, 
although it was three miles off. She 
could not go to their church as she did 
not approve of the clergyman's ritualistic 
practices. He used white vestments at 
Easter, changed the order of the service, 
and allowed a picture in church. All that, 
of course, made it impossible. They went 
away soon after luncheon. I went for 
a walk with Lady Jarvis. After dinner 
A. asked Mrs Housman to sing, but she 
said she would rather read. She read 
Happy Thoughts aloud. 

Monday, September ^ih. 

A. left in his yacht. He said he would 
be back in London by the first of October. 
He is stopping at Plymouth on the way. 

Tuesday, September 6th. 

Mrs Housman asked me if I had finished 
Les Miserables. I said I had not gone on 
with it. She read aloud from it in the 
afternoon. 

272 



Passing B t/ 



Wednesday, September "jtk. 

I leave to-morrow to stay with Aunt 
Ruth. I have to be in London on the 
19th. Lady Jarvis went to the village, 
we stayed in the garden. After dinner, 
Mrs Housman sang some Schubert. She 
leaves Cornwall at the end of the month 
and then goes to Florence, where she stays 
till Easter or perhaps longer. 

Monday, October ^rd. London, Gray's Inn. 

Cunninghame and A. both came back 
to-day. Cunninghame asked me to dine 
with him to-morrow. 

Tuesday, October \th. 

Dined with Cunninghame alone in his 
flat. He said that he knew I had some 
R.C. friends, perhaps I knew a priest. I 
said the only priest I had ever spoken to 
was Father Stanway at Carbis Bay. He 
said he wanted to consult a priest about 
certain rules in the R.C. Church. He 
wanted to know under what conditions a 
marriage could be annulled. A friend of 
s 273 



Passing By 



his wanted a married woman to get her 
marriage annulled as her husband was 
living with someone else. He wanted to 
know whether the marriage could be 
annulled. I said I knew who he was 
talking about. He said he had meant me 
to know. He had promised A. to find 
out from a priest. A. had been told by 
her that it was out of the question to get 
the marriage annulled. It had been a 
marriage entered into by her own free will 
and performed with every necessary con- 
dition of validity. Of course she was very 
young when she was married and didn't 
know what she was doing, but that had 
nothing to do with it. Her aunt and the 
nuns in the convent where she had been 
brought up had thought it was an excellent 
marriage, as he was well off and a Catholic. 
Cunninghame begged me to go and see 
a priest. I said I did not know how this 
was done. I suggested his asking his 
cousin, Mrs Caryl. He said she was in 
Paris and that would be no use, it would 
274 



Passing By 



not satisfy A. I said I would think about 

it. 

Wednesday, October ^tk. 

I asked Tuke where and how one could 
find a priest who would be able to tell one 
the rules of the Church with regard to 
marriage. Tuke said any of the Fathers 
at Farm Street or the Oratory. In the 
afternoon I went to the Oratory, sent in 
my Cfird and asked to see a priest. I 
sat in a little waiting-room downstairs. 
Presently a tall man came in with very 
bright eyes and a face with nothing but 
character left in it. I told him I had come 
for a friend. It was a case of divorce, or 
rather of annulment. I knew his Church 
did not tolerate divorce. I was, myself, 
not a CathoHc. It was the case of a lady, 
a Catholic, who had married a Catholic. 
The husband had always been unfaithful 
and was now almost openly living with 
someone else. Could the marriage be 
annulled ? The priest asked whether she 
desired the marriage to be annulled. I 
275 



Passing B \ 



told him she had said it was impossible. 
He asked whether the marriage had been 
performed under all conditions of validity. 
I said I did not myself know what these 
conditions were, but that she had expressly 
said that the marriage had been performed 
with her own free will, with every necessary 
condition of validity. I knew she thought 
it was out of the question to think of the 
marriage being annulled, but there was 
someone who was most devoted to her 
and wanted to marry her, and he was not 
satisfied with her saying it was impossible. 
He wanted the decision confirmed by 
a priest and that was why I had come. 
The priest said he was afraid from what 
1 had told him that it was no use thinking 
of annulment. It was clear from what I 
had said she knew quite well the conditions 
that make it possible to apply for the 
annulment of a marriage. He said he 
was sure it was a hard case. If I liked 
he would lend me a book which went into 
the matter in detail. I said I would not 
276 



Passing By 



trouble him. It would be enough that I 
had seen him and heard this from him. 
I then went away. I went straight back 
to the office and told C. the result of my 
visit. He was most grateful to me for 
having done this. He said he was dining 
with A. to-night. He said A. was in a 
terrible state. 

Thursday, October dth. 

Cunninghame told me that he had dined 
with A. and given him the information I 
had procured for him. He said A. was 
wretched. Mrs Housman arrives in 
London on Saturday. She is only staying 
till Monday ; she then goes to Florence. 

Friday, October ith. 

Cunninghame told me that Housman 
has come back to London. They have 
got their house back. Mrs Fairburn is in 
London also. 

Saturday, October ?>th. 

A. has gone down to Littlehampton. 
277 



Passing By 



Sunday, October ^(h. 

I went to see Mrs Housman in the 
afternoon — she was in. She leaves for 
Florence to-morrow. She told me she 
was going to stay there a whole year. 
She asked after A. and was pleased to 
hear he was still in g-ood health. Miss 
Housman came in later after we had 
finished tea. 



278 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Sunday, October ^th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Thank you for your long 
letter. I am most worried about George. 
Mrs Housman goes to Florence to-morrow 
and is not coming back for a whole year. 
George has told me about the whole 
thing. She knows all about Housman 
and has always known. George has im- 
plored her to divorce Housman and to 
marry him. She can't divorce, as you 
know better than I do, and she told 
George it was not a marriage that could 
be annulled. However, this didn't satisfy 
him. He insisted on getting the opinion 
of a priest. I thought of writing to you, 
but there wasn't time, and then I didn't 
know whether it was the same in France 
or not. I got the opinion of a priest, who 
said there wasn't the slightest chance of 
279 



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getting the marriage annulled. I told 
George this and he won't believe it, even 
now. He keeps on saying that we ought 
to go to Rome, but I don't suppose that 
would be of the slightest use either, would 
it ? In the meantime he is perfectly 
wretched. Mrs Housman didn't see him 
after Cornwall. George won't see anyone, 
or go anywhere now. He is at this 
moment down at Littlehampton by him- 
self. If you can think of anything one 
could do, let me know at once, but I know 
there is nothing to be done. If the 
marriage could be annulled I think she 
would marry him to-morrow. I can't 
write about anything else, because I can't 
think about anything else. 
Yrs. 

G. 



280 



From the Diary of Godfrey Me I lor 

Monday, October xith. 

Heard from Mrs Housman from 
Florence. She says the weather is 
beautiful and she is having a very 
peaceful time. 

Monday, November 1th. 

Heard from Mrs Housman. She has 
been to Rome, where she stayed a fort- 
night. 

Wednesday, November i)th. 

I met Housman in the street this morn- 
ing. He said he had given up the house 
near Staines. It was dismal in winter 
and not very pleasant in summer. He 
had taken a small house in the north of 
London, not far from Hendon. He could 
come up from there every day and the air 
was very good. I was not to say a word 
about this to Mrs Housman, as it was 
a surprise. He said he was going to 
Florence for Christmas if he could. He 
281 



P as s i ng By 



said I must come down one Saturday and 
stay with him. 

Saturday, November iqtk. 

Staying with Riley at Shelborough. 

Monday, December izth. 

Heard from Mrs Housman. She is 
going to spend Christmas at Ravenna 
with the Albertis. Housman has written 
to me saying he will not be able to get to 
Florence at Christmas and asking me to 
spend it with him at his house near 
Hendon. I have told him that I was 
staying with Aunt Ruth for Christmas. 



282 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

Monday, October i^th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Thank you for your letter. 

I quite understand all you say and I was 

afraid it must be so, but thank you for 

taking all that trouble. George is just the 

same. He sees nobody except Godfrey 

and me. I have heard from Mrs Hous- 

man twice and I have written to her 

several times and given her news of 

George. I haven't set eyes on Housman 

nor heard either from him or of him. 

Yrs. 

G. 

London, 
Monday, October ^ist. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I saw Jimmy Randall 

yesterday. He tells me that Housman 

is in London but has taken a house near 

Hendon and comes up every day. He 

28,1 



Passing By 



is just, as infatuated as ever with Mrs 
Fairburn and has given her some handsome 
jewels. 

I heard from Mrs Housman on Satur- 
day. I am afraid she is quite miserable. 
George won't even go to stay with his 
sister. He dines with me sometimes. 
Yrs. 

G. 

London, 
November \\th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Lady Jarvis is bacl<; from 
Ireland. I went down to Rosedale on 
Saturday. There were a few people 
there, but I managed to have two loner 
and good talks with her. She is of course 
fearfully worried. She hears from Mrs 
Housman constantly, she never mentions 
G. Lady Jarvis thinks of going out 
there, only, apparently, Mrs Housman 
will not be at Florence for Christmas. 
She tried to get George to come to Rose- 
dale, but he wouldn't. 
•284 



P as s I tig By 



I have seen Housman for a moment at 
the play. He said I must see his house 
at Hendon. He said he had meant it as 
a surprise for Mrs H., but he had been 
obliged to tell her. He says he has 
bought a lot of new pictures and that the 
house is very moderne in arrangement. 
I can see it. He wanted me to go there 
next Saturday. I said I couldn't. 
Yours, 

G. 

London, 
Tuesday, November 2<)th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I am sorry to have been 
so bad about writing, but we have been 
having rather a busy time, which has 
been a good thing for George. I am 
going to stay with Lady Jarvis for Christ- 
mas. She asked George and he is going 
too. There is no party. He seems a 
little better, but he isn't really better, and 
he talks of giving up his job altogether 
and going out to Africa again. Will you 
285 



Passing By 



choose me a small Christmas present for 
Lady Jarvis, something that looks nice in 
the box or case. 

Yrs. 

G. 

London, 
Monday, December \2th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Housman asked me so 
often to go down to Hendon that I was 
obliged to go last Saturday. The house 
is decorated entirely in the AH Nouveau 
style. There is a small spiral staircase 
made of metal in the drawing-room that 
goes nowhere. It is just a serpentine 
ornament. The house is the last word of 
hideosity, but the pictures are rather good. 
He gets good advice for these and never 
buys anything that, he thinks won't go 
up. It was a bachelor party, Randall, 
Carrington-Smith and myself. We played 
golf all the day, and Bridge all the 
evening. 

He said Mrs Housman was enjoying 

286 



Passing By 



Florence very much and that we must all 
go out there for Easter again. 

I heard from her three days ago. She 
said very little, and asked after George. 
He never hears from her. He dines with 
me often. 

Yrs. 

G. 

ROSEDALE, 

Saturday, December 2,1st. 

Dearest Elsie, 

We have had rather a sad 
Christmas, only George and myself here, 
but Lady Jarvis has been too kind for 
words, and quite splendid with George. 
She has heard regularlyfrom Mrs Housman 
and she thinks she will go out to Florence 
in January if she can. 

Godfrey is staying with his uncle. 
Lady Jarvis says that Miss Sarah Hous- 
man makes terrible scenes about Mrs 
Fairburn, so much so that Sarah and he 
are no longer on speaking terms. I go 
287 



Passing B ij 



back to London just after the New Year, 
so does George. The Christmas present 
was a great success. Lady Jarvis gave 
me a lovely table for my flat. 
Yrs. 

G. 



288 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Monday, January 2 nd, i g 1 1 . 

Received a small Dante bound in white 
vellum from Mrs Housman. It had been 
delayed in the post. 

Tuesday, Januarv yd- 

Cunninghame came to the office to-day. 
A. also. 

Tuesday, April 12th. 

Riley is spending Easter in London. He 
wishes to attend the Holy Week services. 
He is staying with me. 

Wednesday, April 13//%. 

Sat up with Riley, talking. I told him 
about Hope having said that he considered 
that to become an R.C. was to sin against 
the light. Riley said that Hope might 
very hkely end by committing suicide, as 
views such as he held led to despair. He 
said : " If the Catholic religion is like what 
Hope and you think it to be, It must be 
T 289 



Passing By 



inconceivable that anyone whose character 
and whose intelHgence you respect could 
belong to such a Church, but, granting 
you do, does it not occur to you that it is 
just possible the Catholic religion may be 
unlike what you think it is, may indeed 
be something quite different ? " 

I said that I did not at all share Hope's 
views. Indeed I did not know what they 
were. I said that I agreed with him that 
when one got to know R.C.'s one found 
they were quite different from what they 
were supposed to be, and I was quite 
ready to believe this applied to their 
beliefs also. 

I said something about the complication 
of the Catholic system, which was difficult 
to reconcile with the simplicity of the 
early Church. He said the services of 
the early Church were longer and more 
complicated than they were now. The 
services of the Eastern Church were more 
complicated than those of the Western 
Church, and to this clay in the Coptic 
290 



P a s s in i! B 



Church it took eight hours to say Mass. 
The Church was complicated when de- 
scribed, but simple when experienced. 

Saturday, April \6th. 

Went with Riley to the ceremony of 
the Blessing of the Font at Westminster 
Cathedral. Riley said he was sorry for 
people who had to go to Maeterlinck for 
symbolism. 

Received a postcard from Florence. 
Houspian did not go out after all. 

Monday, May ist. 

Cunninghame told us that Housman is 
laid up with pneumonia. 

Thursday, May i,th. 

Housman is worse, and Mrs Housman 
has been telegraphed for. He is laid up 
at Hendon. They don't think he will 
recover. 

Friday, May ^th. 

Mrs Housman arrived last night, 
Housman is about the same. 
291 



Passing By 



Monday, May ith. 

Had luncheon with Lady Jarvis yester- 
day. She says that Housman was a shade 
better yesterday. He may recover, but it 
is thought very doubtful. Mrs Housman 
has been up day and night nursing him. 

Wednesday, May lo th. 

Housman has taken a turn for the 
better, but he is not yet out of danger. 

Saturday, May i^th. 

The doctors say Housman is out of 
danger. 

Monday, May \^ih. 

Cunninghame says Housman will re- 
cover. He has been very bad indeed. 
The doctors say that it is entirely due 
to Mrs Housman's nursing that he has 
pulled through. 

Saturday, May 20th. 

Went to see Mrs Housman at Hendon. 
I was allowed to see Housman for a few 
minutes. He likes visitors. Mrs Hous- 
man looked tired. Cunninghame says 
292 



Passing By 



that Housman has a weak heart. That 
was the danger. 

Saturday, June loth. 

The Housmans have gone to Brighton 
for a fortnight. 



293 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, May 22nd. 
Dearest Elsie, 

I am delighted to hear 
you and Jack are coming to London so 
soon, but very sad of course that you 
won't be going back to Paris. But I 
believe Copenhagen is a delightful post, 
and they say it always leads to something. 
Perhaps you will let me come and stay 
with you in the summer? 
Yrs. 

G. 

Saturday, June loth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Your letter made me laugh 
a great deal. I expect you will get to 
like the place. I am writing this from 
Rosedale, where I am in the middle of 
a large musical and artistic party, one 
294 



Passing By 



painter, two novelists, and two pianists. 
They all hate each other like poison, and 
it is pain to all the others when one of 
them performs. But the rest of us are 
enjoying it immensely, and Lady Jarvis 
is being splendid. The Housmans have 
gone to Brighton for a fortnight. Bert 
is quite well again, but Mrs Housman 
looks fearfully ill. 

Write to me again soon. 
Yrs. 

G. 

Monday, June idth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have just come back 
from Oakley, the Housmans' place, near 
Hendon. He has quite recovered, and 
everything was going on there just as 
usual. Jimmy Randall was there, and 
Mrs Fairburn. Housman said nothing 
about the summer, but Mrs Housman told 
me she was not going to Cornwall this 
year. I asked her if she was going to 
295 



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stay all the summer at Oakley, the Hendon 
house. She said that Housman had hired 
a yacht for the summer and asked several 
people. She said she couldn't bear steam 
yachting with a large party, and she has 
taken a small house on the west coast of 
Ireland, with Lady Jarvis. They would 
be there quite alone ; she was going there 
quite soon: "Albert would probably go 
to France." 

She told me Housman had wanted to 
take the house in Cornwall and ask us all 
again, but that she had told him this was 
impossible. 

George has seen her once or twice, 
and he is of course happier, but things 
are where they were. She won't think of 
divorcing. 

I shall start for Copenhagen at the end 
of July. 

Yrs. 

G. 



296 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Tuesday, June 2"] tk. London. 

Housman has asked me to go to Oakley 
next Saturday. He has asked A. also. 

Wednesday, June zZth. London. 

Dined with A. and his sister. A. said 
he would be unable to go to Oakley next 
week. He had some people staying with 
him. 

Thursday, June 7.<)th. London. 

Dined with Aunt Ruth. Apparently 
Gertrude is still annoyed at the Caryls 
having got Copenhagen. She complains 
of this weekly. 

Friday, June 2flth. London. 

Solway is staying the night with me, 
his concert is to-morrow afternoon. 

Saturday, July \st. London. 

Went with Mrs Housman to Solway's 
concert in the afternoon, and she drove 
me down to Hendon afterwards in her 
297 



Passing By 



motor. Mrs Housman is going to spend 
the summer in Ireland. 

Sunday, July ind. Oakley {near Hendon). 

Mrs Fairburn and Carringrton- Smith 
are staying here. Mrs Housman leaves 
to-morrow for Ireland. 



29S 



Passing By 



Saturday, October 2.%th. London, Gray's Inn. 

Mrs Housman returns from Ireland 
to-day. She spends Sunday in London, 
and goes to Oakley, near Hendon, on 
Wednesday. I have not heard one 
word from Mrs Housman since her long 
absence in Ireland. 

Sunday, October -z^th. 

Went to see Mrs Housman in the after- 
noon. Ireland has done her a great deal 
of good, and she looks quite refreshed and 
rested. 

She asked after A. I told her he was 
due to arrive from Scotland to-morrow, 
and that we expected him at the office. 
She asked me if I was going to stay with 
Lady Jarvis next Saturday. She said we 
would meet there. She said nothing about 
her plans for the future. 

Monday, October Tfith. 

A. has arrived from Scotland, and 
Cunninghame from Copenhagen, where he 
299 



Passing By 



has been staying for the last three months 
with his cousin. I called on Lady Jarvis. 
She told me she thought Mrs Housman 
would not remain long in England. She 
might go to Italy again. 

Tuesday, October 2,1st. 

A. is going to Rosedale on Saturday. 

Wednesday, November ist. 

Dined with A. and Cunninghame. 
We went to a music hall after dinner. 



Thursday, Novejnber ind. 

Cunninghame and I went to Aunt 
Ruth's after dinner. When Cunninghame 
said he had been at Copenhagen, Aunt 
Ruth said that she knew, of course, Caryl 
was a brilliant diplomatist, but that 
Edmund Anstruther ought to have had 
the post. Uncle Arthur said: "What, 
Edmund? Copenhagen? He would have 
got us into war with the Danes." 
300 



Passing By 



Friday, November ^rd. 

Dined alone with A. He aslced after 
Mrs Housman's health. 

Saturday, November i^th. Rosedale. 

A.. Cunninghame, myself, and Mrs 
Vaughan are here. The Housmans were 
unable to come at the last moment. 

Monday, November dth. 

Housman asked me to go to Oakley on 
Saturday, November 25th. Mrs Housman 
has gone to Folkestone for a fortnight to 
stay with Miss Housman. Cunninghame 
says that Housman and his sister have 
quarrelled, and that she no longer goes to 
the house. 

Saturday, November ^'^th. Oakley. 

Lady Jarvis, A. and Carrington-Smith 
are staying here. Cunninghame comes 
down to-morrow for the day. Housman 
301 



Passing By 



was obliged to go to Paris on urgent 
business for a few days. 

Sunday, November 26th. 

Cunninghame and Carrington-Smith 
played golf. I went for a walk with Lady 
Jarvis. 

Mt'iddY, November 2'jth. 

Dined with A. and went to the play, a 
farce. A. enjoyed it immensely. I have 
written to Aunt Ruth to tell her I shall 
not be able to go there this year. I shall 
remain in London, as Riley wishes to 
spend Christmas with me. 

Tuesday, November zZth. 

Dined with Lady Jarvis. Mrs Hous- 
man has gone back to Folkestone. She 
stays there till Christmas, then she returns 
to London. 

A. is going abroad for Christmas. 
302 



Passing By 



Wednesday, December loth. 

A. goes to Paris to-morrow night. 
Cunninghame is going to spend Christmas 
with the Housmans at Oakley. 



303 



Letter from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

Halkin Street, 
Friday, December 22nd. 

Dearest Elsie, 

As you see, I write from 
London. All my plans have been upset 
by an unexpected catastrophe. I will try 
and begin at the beginning and tell you 
everything in order as clearly as possible, 
but the fact is I am so bewildered by every- 
thing that has happened that I find it 
difficult to think clearly and to write at all. 
I think I told you in my last letter that 
Housman asked me to spend Christmas 
with them at Oakley. I was to go down 
yesterday, Thursday, and George was 
going to Paris by the night train. I think 
I told you, too, that ever since we stayed 
at Oakley in November, George has been 
a changed man and in the highest spirits. 
On Thursday we had luncheon together. 
I thought it rather odd that he should be 
304 



Passing By 



going to Paris, but he said he was tired 
of England and felt that he must have a 
change. I wondered what this meant. I 
could have imagined his wanting to go 
away if he had been like he was before, 
that is to say miserable, but now that he 
seemed to be enjoying life it was rather 
extraordinary. I said I was going to 
Oakley. He said nothing, and talked 
about his journey. After luncheon he 
went to the office to give Mellor some final 
instructions. He said he might be away 
for some time. I left him there at about 
half-past three. I asked him why he was 
going by the night train, and he said he 
hated a day in the train and always slept 
well in the train at night. I said good- 
bye and went down to Oakley in a taxi. 
Housman had not arrived, and the butler 
(who has taken the place of the nice 
parlour-maid there used to be at Campden 
Hill) told me that Mrs Housman had gone 
up to London. Her maid thought she 
was staying the night at Garland's Hotel, 
u 305 



Pass ing By 



but he, the butler, knew nothing of her 
arrangements. This astonished me, but 
I supposed there were no servants at 
Campden Hill. At a quarter to five 
Housman arrived in a motor with 
Carrington- Smith. He looked more yellow 
than usual. I met him in the hall and 
while we were talking the butler gave him 
a letter which he said Mrs Housman had 
left for him. He said we would have 
tea at once in the drawing-room. Then 
he said to Carrington-Smith : "I just 
want to show you that thing," and to me : 
"We will be with you in one minute." 
He took Carrington-Smith into his study 
and I went into the drawing-room. Tea 
was brought in. 1 again tried the butler 
and asked him whether Mrs Housman 
was coming back to-morrow morning. 
He said that she had left no instructions, 
but Mr Housman was probably aware of 
her intentions. He went out and almost 
directly I heard someone shouting and 
bells ringing, violently. Carrington-Smith 
io6 



P a s s i ng By 



was calling me. I ran out and met him 
in the hall ; he said Housman had had 
a stroke, he thought it was fatal. 

It was like a thing on the stage. A 
breathless telephone to the doctor. The 
motor sent to fetch him. Servants scurry- 
ing with blanched faces. Housman lying 
on the sofa in the study, his collar undone, 
his face ghastly. 

Carrington-Smith said: "We must 
telephone to Campden Hill for Mrs 
Housman." 

I said : " She isn't there." Then told 
him about Garland's Hotel. He seemed 
dumbfounded, sent for the butler, who 
confirmed this, and then got on to the 
Hotel. Mrs Housman was in. He 
spoke to her and told her Housman was 
dangerously ill and she must come at 
once. He said he would get on to Miss 
Housman and tell her to bring Mrs Hous- 
man down in her motor. This was 
arranged and he told Miss Housman the 
whole facts. In the meantime the doctor 
307 



P a using By 



arrived — an Australian. He examined 
Housman and said it was heart failure and 
that he had always feared this. They had 
known he had a weak heart after his last 
illness. It might have happened any day. 

Then Carrington- Smith told me how 
it had happened. When they went into 
the study Housman had sat down at his 
writing-table and read a letter through 
twice quite slowly, torn it up and thrown 
it into the fire. He had then said : " We 
will go," and at that moment fallen back 
and collapsed on the sofa. 

He told me that Housman had had a 
terrific row with Mrs Fairburn yesterday 
and had talked of nothing else on the way 
down. Probably the letter was from her, 
he said. I said : " Yes, very likely " ; but 
as a matter of fact 1 knew it was from 
Mrs Housman. He had not noticed that, 
or if he had he was lying on purpose. 

Mrs Housman and Miss Hoiisman 
arrived about six. Mrs Housman almost 
frighteniu^lv calm. 

308 



'Passing B ij 



She wanted to know every detail. She 
had a talk with Carrington-Smith alone 
and then I saw her for a moment before 
going away. She asked me if I had seen 
Housman before he died. Then she made 
all the arrangements herself. I went 
back to London by train. 

I don't know what to think. Why did 
she go to London ? Why did she stay 
at Garland's Hotel? The Campden Hill 
house isn't shut up. Miss Housman 
talked about going there. Did the letter 
which she left for Housman play a part 
in the tragedy ? 

I sent George a telegram. Possibly 
you may see him. 

Yours, 

G. 



309 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Friday, December 22nd, 

I was rung up last night by Cunning- 
hame, who had returned to London 
unexpectedly. He had bad news to tell 
me. A tragedy had occurred at Oakley 
and Housman had died suddenly of a 
heart attack. Mrs Housman was informed 
at once and reached Oakley an hour after 
the tragedy occurred. 

Cunninghame has informed A. by 
telegram. 

Not unconnected with this tragic event 
a small incident has occurred to me which 
leaves me stunned. 

I have unwittingly violated A.'s con- 
fidence, and as it were looked through a 
keyhole into his private affairs. I am 
literally appalled by what I have done. 
But after reviewing every detail and living 
again every moment of yesterday, I do 
not see how I could have acted otherwise 
310 



Passing By 



than I did, nor do I see how things could 
have happened differently. 

These are the facts : 

A. arrived at the office at half-past three 
on Thursday afternoon with Cunninghame. 
Cunninghame left him. 

A. remained in his room until five 
o'clock, writing letters. 

At five he sent for me and told me he 
was leaving for Paris that night by the 
night train. Tuke, he said, had gone on 
his holiday. He asked me if I was going 
away. I said I should be in London 
during all the Christmas holidays, as I 
had a friend staying with me. He said 
he would most probably be away for some 
time, and he would be obliged if I could 
look in at the office every now and then. 
He had told the clerks to forward letters, 
but he wanted me to make sure they did 
not forward circulars or any other useless 
documents to him. I was to open all 
telegrams, whether private or not, and 
not to forward them unless they were of 
3" 



Passing By 



real importance. " But," he said, "there 
won't be any telegrams. Don't forward 
me invitations to luncheon or dinner." 

This morning I went to the office. 
There was a telegram for A. The clerk 
gave it to me. I opened it. It had been 
sent off originally at five yesterday after- 
noon and redirected from Stratton Street. 
Its contents were: "Albert dangerously 
ill. Fear worst. Cannot come. Clare." 

I forwarded it to the Hotel Meurice. 
He will know of course that I have read 
it. I read it at one glance before I 
realised its nature. Then it was too late. 
And so unwittingly I am guilty of the 
greatest breach of confidence that I could 
possibly have committed. 

It was a fatality that this telegram 
should have missed him. The clerks say 
he left the office soon after I did, a little 
after five. They say the telegram did not 
reach the office till later. They didn't 
know where A. was and he had told them 
not to forward any telegrams till I had 
312 



Passing By 



seen them. I remember his saying that 
he was not returning- to his flat. That he 
was dining at a club and going straight 
from there to the station, where his servant 
would meet him. I am truly appalled by 
what I have done, but the more I think 
over it, the less I see how it could have 
been otherwise. 

1 had some conversation with Cunning- 
hame on the telephone last night. He 
had been talking to Lady Jarvis on the 
telephone. She had at once offered to 
go to Oakley, but Mrs Housman said she 
would rather see no one at present. 

Cunninghame went down to Rosedale 
at her urgent request this morning. He 
did not call at the office on the way. 



313 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

ROSEDALE, 

Friday, December iitid. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I came down here early 
this morning. Lady Jarvis heard the 
news from Miss Housman last night and 
at once offered to go, but Mrs Housman 
said she would rather see no one at 
present. Carrington-Smith was making 
all the arrangements. The funeral is to 
be on Tuesday. I told Lady Jarvis about 
Mrs Housman being in London. She 
said Mrs Housman often went up to 
Garland's Hotel. She found it a complete 
rest and the house at Campden Hill was 
very cold and there was no cook there. 
Lady jarvis said it was the most natural 
thing in the world. 1 told her about the 
letter. She said Mrs Housman had no 
doubt written to Housman saying she had 
gone to Garland's Hotel and was coming 
back. 1 also told her what Carrington- 
J14 



Passing By 



Smith had said about Mrs Fairburn. She 
said : " That was it. It was those terrible 
scenes which used to shatter him and no 
doubt caused his death." Lady Jarvis 
says it will be a shock to Mrs Housman 
in spite of everything. The fact of 
Housman having made her very unhappy, 
or rather of her having been very unhappy 
as his wife, will make no difference to the 
shock. Lately Lady Jarvis says he had 
made things very difficult for her. Mrs 
Fairburn was always there. 

One can't help thinking — well you know, 
I needn't explain. 1 wonder what will 
happen in the future. 1 have heard 
nothing from George yet. There is no 
one here. Housman must have left an 
enormous fortune. He was very canny 
about his investments, and very lucky 
too. Randall told me he had almost 
doubled his fortune in the last three 
years, and he was rich enough to start 
with. 

Yours, G. 

315 



Passing By 



P.S. — Lady Jarvis' explanation of the 
letter does not quite satisfy, but what did 
happen ? What does it all mean ? 

London, 
Monday, January \st. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I came up to-day for 
good. I went to Housman's funeral last 
Tuesday. Mrs Housman went down to 
Rosedale directly after the funeral. She 
is going to Florence next week and means 
to stay on there indefinitely. George has 
come back. He never wrote and I did 
not hear from him till he arrived at the 
office this morning. He is just the same 
as usual except for being subtly different. 

Housman left everything to her. 

Yrs. G. 

P.S. — I told Godfrey everything that 
had happened at Oakley. He said nothing. 
He appears incapable of discussing the 
matter. 



316 



From the Diary of Godfrey Me I lor 

Monday, January ist, 191 2. 

A. arrived last night from Paris. He 
came to the office and he thanked me for 
what I had done in his absence. " Every- 
thing was quite right," he said. He 
conveyed to me without saying anything 
that I need not distress myself about the 
telegram and that he still trusted me. 

He did not mention Mrs Housman nor 
the death of Housman. 

Wednesday, February 2.%th. 

I heard to-day from Mrs -Housman. 
She tells me she has entered the Convent 
of the Presentation and intends to be a 
nun. I cannot say the news surprised me, 
but to hear of the death in life of anyone 
one knows well, is almost worse I think 
than to hear of their death. 



317 



Letter from Guy Cunmnghame to 

Mrs Caryl 

London, 
W'edncsday, February i<iih. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have just had a short 
letter from Lady Jarvis telling me that Mrs 
Housman is going to be a nun. I have not 
set eyes on her since Housman's funeral, 
and have only heard of her, and that not 
much, from time to time from Lady Jarvis. 
I confess I am completely bewildered, 
and I hope you won't be shocked if I tell 
you that I' can't help thinking it rather 
selfish. Do as I will, I cannot see any 
possible reason for her taking such a step. 
Mrs Housman seems to me the last person 
in the world who ought to be a nun. 
Whether it will make her happy or not, 
I am afraid there is no doubt that she will 
be causing a lot of intense misery. George 
is worse than ever. He hasn't in the 
least got over it, and he never will, I feel 
3i« 



Passing By 

sure. He knows what has happened, but 
he can't even bring himself to talk about 
it. I think he must have known of it for 
some time. In any case he hasn't for one 
moment emerged from the real fog of 
gloom and misery that has wrapped him 
up ever since Christmas. 

What is so extraordinary is that just 
before Christmas he was in radiant spirits 
after all those months of sadness ! 

I can't see that it can be right, however 
good the motive, to destroy and shatter 
someone's life ! 

His life is destroyed, shattered and 
shipwrecked ! We must just face that. 

I tried to think that we had always 
been wrong and that my first impressions 
were right, that she had never really cared 
for him. But I know this is not true. 
You will forgive me saying that I think 
your religion has a terribly hard and cruel 
side. Nobody appreciates more than I 
do all its good points, and nobody knows 
better than I do what a lot of good 
319 



Passing By 



is often done by Catholics. But it is 
just this sort of thing that makes one 
revolt. 

I was reading Boswell last night before 
going to bed, and I came across this 
sentence : " Madam," Dr Johnson said, to 
a nun in a convent, " you are here not 
from love of virtue, but from fear of vice." 
Even this is not a satisfactory explanation 
in Mrs Housman's case. It is obvious 
that she had nothing^ to fear from vice. 
I can't help thinking she has been the 
victim of an inexorable system and of 
a training which bends the human mind 
into a twisted shape that can never be 
altered or put straight. 

Frankly, I think it is more than sad, 
I think it is positively wicked ; not on 
her part, but on the part of those who 
have led her to take such a mistaken view 
of ordinary human duty. After all, even 
if she wants to be a nun, isn't it her duty 
to stay in the world? Isn't it a more 
difficult duty ? What is one's duty to 
320 



P as s in o By 



one's neighbour ? Forgive me for saying 
all this. You know in my case that it 
isn't inspired by prejudice. 

It is cruel to think that most probably 
George will never get over this, and that 
she has sacrificed the certain happiness 
of two human beings and the chance of 
doing any amount of good in the world. 
What for? For nothing as far as I can 
see that can't be much better done by 
people far more fitted to that kind of 
vocation. I am too sad to write any 
more. 

Yrs. G. 



321 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Thursday, March ist. 

I dined alone with Cunninghame at his 
flat last night. He had heard the news 
about Mrs Housman. He was greatly 
upset about it, and thought it very selfish. 
I said I believed the step was not irrevoc- 
able, as one had to stay some time in a 
convent before taking final vows. 

He said : " That is just what I want 
to talk about, just what I want to know. 
How long must one stay exactly ? " 

I said I did not know, but I could find 
out. He said I want you to find out all 
about it as soon as possible. A., he said, 
was in a dreadful state. He had dined 
with him last night. He had said very 
little ; nothing personal, not a word about 
what he felt about it, but he had asked 
him, Cunninghame, whether he knew what 
the rules were about taking the veil. 

C. said he did not believe Mrs Housman 
322 



P a s s in i< B y 



would take an irrevocable decision. He 
had told A. he would find out all about it. 
I could of course ask Riley, but I don't 
know whether he would know. 

I decided I would apply to Father 
Stanway, the priest I met at Carbis Bay, 
for information. 1 wrote to him, saying 
I wished to consult him on a matter, and 
suggested going down to Cornwall on 
Saturday and spending Sunday at Carbis 
Bay. 

Friday, March ind. 

Received a telegram from Father Stan- 
way, saying that he will not be in Cornwall 
this week-end, but in London, where he 
will be staying four or five days ; and 
suggesting our meeting on Sunday after- 
noon. I sent him a telegram asking him 
to luncheon on Sunday. 

Sunday, March ^th. 

Father Stanway came to luncheon with 
me at the Club, and we talked of the 
topics of the day. After luncheon I 
323 



Passing By 



suggested a walk in the park. We went 
for a walk in Kensington Gardens. I 
asked him first for the information about 
the nuns. He said, as far as he could say 
off-hand, it entailed six months' postulancy, 
two years' "Habit and White Veil," three 
years' simple vows of profession ; and 
then solemn perpetual vows. But he said 
he could write to a convent and get it 
quite accurate for me. In any case he 
knew it was a matter of five years. 

1 then said I would like, if he did not 
mind, to have his opinion on a case which 
I had come across. He said he would be 
pleased to listen. 

I then told him the whole Housman 
story as a skeleton case, not mentioning 
na^nes, and calling the people X. and Y. 
Very possibly he knew who I was talking 
about, almost certainly 1 think, although 
he never betrayed this for a moment. I 
felt the knowledge, if there were know- 
ledge, would be as safe as though given 
in the confessional. I told him everything, 
324 



Passing By 



including a detailed account of Housman's 
death which Cunninghame had given me. 
I referred to Housman as X., to Mrs 
Housman as Mrs X. and to A. as Y. 

I then asked him if he thought Mrs X. 
was justified in taking such a step, and 
whether it would not be nobler, a more 
unselfish course, to remain in the world 
and to make Y. happy. 

I asked him whether, in his opinion, 
people would be justified in calling 
Mrs X.'s step, were it to turn out to be 
irrevocable, a selfish act. 

And, thirdly, I asked if in the case of 
Mrs X. changing her mind she would be 
allowed by the Church to marry Y 

Father Stanway said if I wished to 
understand the question I must try and 
turn my mind round, as it were, and start 
from the point of view that what the world 
considers all-important the Church con- 
siders of no importance if it interferes with 
what God thinks important. He said I 
must start by remembering that Mrs X.'s 
325 



Passing By 



conduct proceeded from that idea — what 
was important in the eyes of God : she 
believed in God pracUcally and not merely 
theoretically. This belief was the cardinal 
fact and the compass of her life. He 
added that this did not mean the Church 
was unsympathetic. No one understood 
human nature as well as she did, nobody 
met it as she did at every point. That 
was why she helped it to rise superior to 
its weakness and to do what it saw to be 
really best. He said it was no disgrace 
to be weak, and vows helped one to do 
what might be difficult without them. 

Then he said that if Mrs X. felt she 
was called to the religious life, this voca- 
tion was the result of supernatural Grace ; 
that she would not be thinkingf of what 
was delightful or convenient to her, but of 
what was pleasing and honourable to God. 
She was bound to follow the appointment 
of God, if she felt certain that was His 
appointment, rather than her own desire, 
and before anything she desired. 
326 



Passing By 



Here I said the objection made (and I 
quoted Cunninghame without mentioning 
him) was that her desire might he for the 
calm and security of the religious life ; but 
might it not be her duty, possibly a more 
difficult, a more unselfish and less pleasant 
duty, to stay in the world and not to 
shatter the happiness of another human 
being ? 

Father Stanway then said it was very 
easy to delude oneself in most things, but 
not in following a religious vocation. One 
might in not following it. It would be 
easy to pretend to oneself one was staying 
in the world for someone else's sake. 
One's merely earthly happiness was not 
a reason for not following a vocation, nor 
was anyone else's, because the religious 
life belonged not to things temporal but 
to things eternal. However, if it were 
her duty to remain in the world she would 
feel no call to leave the world. It was 
impossible for a human being to gauge 
the vocation of another human being. A 
327 



Passing By 



vocation was a "categorical imperative" 
to the soul, and there was no mistaking 
its presence. Mrs X. would know for 
certain after she had spent some time in 
the Convent, she probably knew already, 
whether or no what she felt was a vocation 
or not. Nobody else could judge, though 
her Director might help her to decide. 
He would certainly not allow her to stay 
if he felt she had no vocation. 

I said : " So, if after she has lived through 
her first period, or any period of probation, 
she feels uncertain as to her vocation, 
there would be no objection to her leaving 
the religious life, and marrying Y. ? 
Would the Church then allow her to 
marry Y., and allow her to go back to the 
world, knowing she would in all probability 
marry Y. ? " 

Father Stanway said: "Of course, and 
the Church would allow her to marry Y. 
now," 

I said, perhaps a little impatiently : 
" Then why doesn't she ? " 
328 



Passing By 



"I think," said Father Stanway, "you 
are a musician, Mr Mellor?" 

I said music was my one and sole 
hobby. 

He said he would try and express 
himself in terms of harmony. 

" Perhaps Mrs X. has a great sense of 
harmony herself," he said. "If she mar- 
ried Y. that would make a legitimate 
harmony certainly. But her very feeling 
for the full harmony of life would make it 
impossible " (and he said this with startling 
emphasis) "for her to use X.'s death as a 
means for doing rightly what she had meant 
to do wrongly, for her intention to do it 
wrongly had in a measure caused his 
death. Within the harmony of her 
marriage the memory of that discord 
would always be present. And perhaps 
she is a woman who is able to have a 
vision of perfect love and harmony. In 
that case she could not put up with an 
imperfect one. She is now free to enter 
upon a perfect harmony and love, by 
329 



Passing By 



marrying Christ, which I imagine she 
always wanted to do, even in the normal 
married state, in fact by means of the 
normal married state, for it is a Sacrament 
and unites the soul to God by Grace. 

" But I understand from you that her 
marriage was such a travesty of marriage 
that she felt she couldn't worship Christ 
through that, and so swung across and 
decided she couldn't be in relation with 
Him at all. Then comes this catastrophe 
and the pendulum swings back and stops 
up. 

"There is nothing selfish about this. 
For all we know it was the will of God 
that all this should happen (the shipwreck 
of her marriage, Y.'s love and present 
misery) solely to make her vocation 
certain, and as far as Y. is concerned we 
don't know the end. Even from the 
worldly point of view we don't know 
whether his marriage with Mrs X. would 
have made for his ultimate happiness or 
for hers. His present unhappiness may 
330 



Passing By 



be an essential note in the full and total 
harmony of his life. It may be a begin- 
ning and not an end. It may lead him 
to some eventual happiness, it may be 
welding his nature and his life for some 
undreamed-of purpose, a purpose which 
he may afterwards be led to recognise and 
bless 'with tears of recognition.' If Mrs 
X. is certain of her vocation, and continues 
to be certain of it, you can be sure she is 
right, and that whatever the world says it 
will be wrong. 

" The only way in which peace comes 
to the human soul is in accepting the will 
of God, 'In la sua volontate e nostra 
pace. ' 

"Mrs X. knows that, and perhaps Y. 
is on the road to learning it. I daresay 
Mrs X. may have an element of fear of 
life too, but it will thin out and float off 
and away from her ; her act in choosing 
the religious life will not be an escape nor 
a flight, but a positive acceptance of the 
love of "Christ. She is getting to and at 
331 



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the mysterious spiritual thing which is 
in music, and which is as different from 
sounds as sounds are different from printed 
notes. It is you musicians who know." 

I said that although I did not pretend 
to understand the whole thing, and the 
whole nature of the motive, I could under- 
stand that it could be as he said, and I 
thanked him, telling him that I for one 
should never cavil at her act nor criticise it, 
but always understand that there was some- 
thing to understand, although probably it 
would always be beyond my understanding. 

I felt during all this conversation that 
the real problem was not why she had 
become a nun, but what terrible thing 
had happened inside her mind to make 
her take that step at Christmas, and 
decide on what seemed to contradict all 
her life so far. 

1 said something- about religion not 

affecting conduct in a crisis. Father 

Stanway seemed to read my thoughts. 

He said: "After a long stress sometimes 

332 



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a tiny accident will suffice to make a nerve 
snap suddenly. I should say that in this 
case long stress had pushed and pushed a 
soul out of its real shape and pattern ; an 
unknown factor sufficed to force it into a 
coherent but false pattern ; a new shock 
sufficed to liberate it wholly and let it fall 
back into its original true pattern. That 
may account for half of it." 

Wednesday, March ith. 

I dined alone with Cunninghame last 
night, and told him what I had ascertained 
respecting the rules for the period of 
probation of nuns. He appeared to be 
relieved. I warned him that Mrs Hous- 
man's step might very well prove to be 
irrevocable, as I didn't think she was a 
person to change her mind easily. He 
said : " That's what I am afraid of They 
never do let people go. I feel that once 
in a convent they will never let her go. 
But it will be a relief to A. to know that 
the step is not yet irrevocable." 
333 



Letters from Guy Cunninghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

London, 
IVednesday, Marc A 1th. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Godfrey dined with me 
last night. I feel he thinks that Mrs 
Housman's step will be irrevocable, 
although he didn't actually say so. He 
said he didn't pretend to understand it, 
but he was convinced she knew best. I 
talked of George's acute misery. He said 
it was all very difficult to understand, and 
I saw he didn't want to discuss it, so I 
didn't say any more. I feel he knows 
something that we don't know, but what ? 
He told me that he knew on good authority 
that going into Convent doesn't mean she 
takes the veil* for five years. An R.C. 
who knows all about it had told him. I 
suppose this is right ? Do ask a priest. 
I have seen George once or twice. I 
don't talk about it to him. In fact, the 
334 



Passing By 



rules about nuns is the only point that has 
been mentioned between us as I see he 
simply can't talk about it. He looks ten 
years older. 

Yours, G. 

London, 
Monday, March iith. 

Dearest Elsie, 

Thank you very much for 
your letter and for the detailed information. 
I told George at once that you had con- 
firmed what Godfrey had said, and he was 
really relieved. But he doesn't yet look 
like a man who has had a reprieve, only 
a respite. 

I feel that he feels it is all over, but 
personally I shall go on hoping. 

Lady Jarvis is away. 

I loner to talk about it with her. 

Yours, G. 



335 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Sunday, August igth. Rosedah. 

I am staying with Lady Jarvis. There 
is no one here but myself and Cunning- 
hame. She told us she had heard from 
Mrs Housman, who has finished her 
postulancy and received the novice's white 
veil. 

She had seen her. She says she is 
quite certain that it is irrevocable and that 
Mrs Housman will never change her 
mind, now. 

Cunninghame said he had hoped up till 
now this would not happen (though he 
had always feared it might happen) and 
that Mrs Housman would think better of 
it. He thought it very wrong and selfish 
and quite inexcusable on the part of the 
Church authorities. 

Lady Jarvis said it must appear so to 
him. She herself would have no sympathy 
with a vocation such as this one must 
336 



P as s i n g B 1/ 



appear to be to the world in L^eneral, i 
even to people who knew Mrs Housn 
well, like Cunninghame and myself; 
Mrs Housman's act had not surpri 
her. 

"But," said Cunninghame, "do ^ 
approve of it ? " 

"The person concerned," said L; 
Jarvis, " is the only judge in such a mat 
Nobody else has the right to judge. I 
a sacred thing, and the approval or ' 
approval of an outsider is I think sim 
impertinent." - 

We then talked of it no more. Bui 
the afternoon I went out for a walk v 
Lady Jarvis and she reverted to 
question. 

She said : "I hope you understand I 
so far from disapproving of Clare's 
I understand it and approve of it ; bi 
don't expect you or anyone else to do 
same." 

I said she need not have told me t 
I knew it already. 

Y 337 



Passing By 



She then said : " Clare knew you would 
understand, even if you didn't understand." 

I said that was my exact position : "I 
did not understand, but I knew there 
was something to understand, and that 
therefore she was right." 



33« 



Letter from Guy Cunmnghame to 
Mrs Caryl 

London, 
Monday, August loth. 

Dearest Elsie, 

I have just come back 
from Rosedale. There is no one there 
except Godfrey. Lady Jarvis told us 
that Mrs Housman has finished the first 
period you told me about, and has taken 
the veil, though it isn't irrevocable yet, 
but for all intents and purposes it is, as 
we are all certain now that she will never 
leave the Convent. You know what I 
think about it. I haven't changed my 
mind, but Lady Jarvis doesn't disapprove, 
or is too loyal to say so. 

George knows, he is going to Ireland 
with his sister. 

I can't help thinking it is all a great, a 
wicked mistake, and I can't help still 
thinking it selfish. 

George talked about Mrs Housman, at 
339 



Passing By 



least he just alluded to her having become 
a nun, as if it were a fact and quite irre- 
vocable. He said : " Once the priests get 
hold of someone they will never let them 
go, and in this case it was a regular con- 
spiracy." But somehow or other this did 
not seem to me to ring quite true, from 
him, and I felt he was using this as a 
shield or a disguise or mask. I said so 
to Godfrey, but found it impossible to get 
any response. He won't talk about it. 
Yours, 

G. 



^o 



From the Diary of Godfrey Mellor 

Sutiday, August 26th. Carbis Bay Hotel. 

I have come down here to spend a week 
by myself. It is three years ago since I 
came here for the first time to stay with 
Mr and Mrs Housman. 

I hesitated about coming down here 
again, but I am now glad that 1 did so. 

I went to Father Stanway's church this 
morning and heard him preach. He is a 
good preacher, clear and unaffected. He 
quoted two sayings which struck me. 
One was about going away from earthly 
solace, and the other I cannot remember 
well enough to transcribe, but I have 
written him a post card asking who said 
them and where 1 could find them. 

In the afternoon I went for a walk alone 
along the cliffs and passed the place where 
we began Les Mis^rables. I am re-reading 
it, not where we left off, but from the 
beginning. 

341 



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Monday, August '2.1th. 

Father Stanway called this morning 
while I was out. He has left me the 
quotations on a card. 

They are both from Thomas a Kempis. 
One of them is this : " By so much the 
more does a man draw nig-h to God as he 
goes away from all earthly solace." The 
other : " Whosoever is not ready to suffer 
all things and to stand resigned to the will 
of his beloved is not worthy to be called 
a lover." 

Tuesday, August 'z%th. 

I have resolved to give up keeping this 
diary. 



342 

















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